provenance: unknown

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The forest for the ...

The thing about Grant Hadwin's cutting down what sounds like a glorious, magnificent tree in the remote Pacific Northwest in 1997 (as related last week in the New Yorker) is that, justified or no, he did it for the right kind of reason.

"Hadwin had cut down what may have been the only tree on the continent capable of bonding loggers, natives, and environmentalists in sorrow and outrage," the New Yorker writes — lots of people were pretty upset. But Hadwin was hardly sympathetic; he told an area newspaper, "Right now, people are focusing all their anger on me when they should focus it on the destruction going on around them."

And to be honest, I think he had it right. In the long run, he killed one tree. The area logging industry had levelled (and was continuing to level) entire forests (magnificent adults and saplings alike) — not just harvesting their timber, but destroying the land they had once grown on. Truly, which is more outrageous?

November 3, 2002 12:18 PM

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