Thankfully most of the areas we have walked through on the Pacific Crest Trail are undisturbed and in their natural state. Recently, however, we have travelled through a great deal of national forest land, which the US government has dubbed “the land of many uses”. In addition to hiking, these uses include include logging and mining.
It was shocking for us to walk through dense forest one moment and into an almost clear cut section the next. Seeing destroyed forest was incredibly depressing, and North Star started to tear up. In addition to the cut trees, almost all the vegetation had been ripped up by heavy machinery. It would take hundreds of years for the forest to fully reestablish itself. The land was devastated.
To our relief, the trail continued on to steeper slopes which had never been logged. The mature trees there were magnificent.
These healthy, undisturbed areas are home to many creatures. Even dead trees are an important part of the ecosystem, providing food for some creatures and housing for others.
We want our forests to remain pristine. Here are a few things you can do to reduce logging:
– Buy used furniture from consignment stores, Craigslist, or thrift stores
– Stop paper mailings, especially catalogs and flyers. A good place to start is dmachoice.org, where you can opt out of most direct mail.
– Contribute to organizations like the Nature Conservancy which protect wild lands. You can contribute via our Nature Conservancy donation page.
Your individual actions make a difference. Thanks for helping conserve our natural resources.
Besides the depressing logged sections, the past four days were quite enjoyable. Here are a few brief highlights:
Day 98: Near Rock Creek (Mile 1430)-Above Moosehead Creek (Mile 1453.5); 23.5 miles
We saw a black bear on the trail. Once it noticed us, it quickly turned and ran away.
Day 99: Above Moosehead Creek (Mile 1453.5)-Ash Camp (Mile 1476); 22.5 miles
Lush vegetation grew near many of the creeks we passed.
Day 100: Ash Camp (Mile 1476)-Girard Ridge (Mile 1498.5); 22.5 miles
Castle Crags came into view for the first time, made even more spectacular by dramatic clouds at sunset.
Day 101: Girard Ridge (Mile 1498.5)-Tributary to Sulphur Creek (Mile 1512.5) and resupply in Castella; 14 miles
We passed the 1500 mile mark. Canada here we come!
Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
-The Lorax, Dr. Seuss