Lumbering the Redwoods

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An evening pause: Tonight’s pause is a challenge. Can you watch this 1940s industrial, describing the lumbering and milling of California redwoods, without feeling outrage or indignation against the work being described? Can you watch it with an open mind, recognizing that trees are renewable?

Or will the environmental brainwashing that our society has undergone since the 1960s cause you to shut your mind and refuse to consider the other side of this story?

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.


  • Nick P.

    Bob, I know the Redwoods well. I lived for years in Santa Cruz Ca and spent 1000s of hours hiking the Redwood forests. Redwoods regrow from the stump. Cutting them down doesn’t kill the tree. Neither does fire. They once lined the entire San Francisco Bay. The Redwood largest stump ever measured was in Oakland, surprisingly.

    A bit of trivia.

    These trees appear in 3 forms. The Coastal “Redwood”, the Sierra Nevada Giant “Sequoia” and the Dawn Redwood found in China.

    Despite the name, the Coastal Redwood isn’t red at all as the name implies, but it is actually a Sequoia as in Sequoia Sempervirens, even though it isn’t called one.

    Despite the name , a “Sequoia”, isn’t a Sequoia at all. It’s a Sequoiadendron Giganteum, but it is quite red…

    Bottom line, the names are exactly backwards.

  • pzatchok

    All I could think of as I watched was that was some great lumber.

    I would love to get hold of some to make a house or just some furniture.

  • Ted Savas

    In the not too distant future kids will come home from school and tell their parent that cutting down corn is a crime because #cornlivesmatter.

  • Heh. Bonus points for you!

  • PeterF

    When you cut trees with an axe and a hand saw, you only cut the trees you want. The use of a chainsaw is the only reason clear cutting ever happens.

    The most ridiculous comment I ever heard an environmentalist utter was “This old-growth forest has been around since the last ice age. I want to make sure that its around until the next one.”. Apparently scraping a forest down to the bedrock is okay if it is done by a glacier.

    Most people’s sense of history starts with the day they were born. I wonder if fruit fly environmentalists would set up conservation zones for Kentucky blue grass. They would worship the giant cornstalk.

  • Jwing

    Got wood?

  • jburn

    I’ll be a dissenting voice.

    Cutting down 4000 year old trees to make picnic tables will be looked up by our grandchildren as absurd. Their houses will likely be constructed using 3D printed concrete polymers versus assembled wood sticks.

    Leave the old, giants of the woods intact and whole. As a society, we can always revisit this idea, if needed, in a century or two.

    (Besides it will make our Mars colonized really jealous, with us having all of these ancient plants)

  • Edward

    I will dissent the dissent:

    If the 4,000-year old tree dies alone in the woods, then its life was for naught. If it becomes picnic tables, houses, and Fort Ross, then its death will have had meaning and usefulness.

    If it is OK for the spotted owl to live in the tree, for squirrels to store nuts in the tree, and for the grub worms to eat the tree’s carcass, why is it not OK for humans to live in and eat off of the tree? Are we really so special that we cannot employ the tree as the rest of nature does?

  • pzatchok

    In my view God placed all things at our disposal to use as we see fit.

    To ignore them is against Gods will but to abuse them is also against his will.

    This includes everything, animal, vegetable and mineral.

  • danae

    I think we can respect 4,000 year-old trees, and let most of them stand as objects deserving of awe. On the other hand, millions of perfectly useful, 80 to 100 year-old trees are at the moment flaring up like matchsticks in every forest throughout my state. This thoroughly sickens me, as do the environmentalists who have killed the forestry industry here, leaving our beautiful, overcrowded trees to be destroyed by insects, disease, and the current statewide conflagration that is the inevitable outcome of their holier-than-thou fanaticism.

  • Mike Nelson

    While in principle I agree with capitalism, I do feel that regulatory oversight is appropriate for natural resources like forrests to ensure they are managed in a sustainable way. Deforestation is a human legacy across the planet and with modern industrial technology it is easier than ever. Fortunately I think we have learned and do manage things better than we did before.

    I will also observe that since redwood lasts so long after cutting them down that commercial redwood forestry is an excellent carbon sink, so the APGW alarmists should rally in support of this industry : )

  • Phill O

    True, but we are also gardeners to take care of the planet.

    The giant white pines of the northeast USA and Ontario and Quebec were used for sailing ship masts. The big ones are no longer. Better that a few were saved than them all gone.

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