I studied at UC Santa Cruz before going on to do a grad program at UCLA. Santa Cruz was like an awesome hippie summer camp. I got to take a vacation from reality and hang out on beaches and in forests.
Before you rip off three feet of toilet paper, consider that each year 500,000 acres of virgin boreal forest in northern Alberta and Ontario are being clear-cut to make the stuff. These forests are home to some 500 First Nation communities, as well as caribou and bears, moose and wolves, and, in the summertime, billions of songbirds.
The Awa are a distinctive-looking, diminutive forest people, smaller than any of the dozen other Amazon tribespeople I have met. Reduced size is adaptive in a rain forest. You can move around more easily and unobtrusively. Not only humans but other species are smaller in rain forests.
The beauty of Maine is such that you can't really see it clearly while you live there. But now that I've moved away, with each return it all becomes almost hallucinatory: the dark blue water, the rocky coast with occasional flashes of white sand, the jasper stone beaches along the coast, the pine and fir forests somehow vivid in their stillness.
Trees are great. Don't get me started about how clever they are, how oxygen-generous, how time-formed in inner cyclic circles, how they provide homes for myriad creatures, how - back when this country was covered in forests - the word for sky was an Old English word that meant 'tops of trees.'
The first and most natural way of lighting the houses of the American colonists, both in the North and South, was by the pine-knots of the fat pitch-pine, which, of course, were found everywhere in the greatest plenty in the forests.
While planting woodlands along rivers has been shown to work in small areas, it has been unclear whether it would be effective on a larger scale. But computer modelling indicates that restoring forests on floodplains could slow floodwaters and reduce the height of the flood downstream.
If we ever have free time, my partner and I are fond of going on walks through the local state forests and parks.
I really want to dive in the kelp forests of Monterey Bay in California. I hear it's like floating through a forest.
It is not acceptable that we continue to see thousands of acres burn because of forest fires, because of poor management on our forests, big kill, and we have these catastrophic situations take place when we are not able to take action.