All posts tagged: long pull

The Shadowy History Behind the Fight to Save the Redwoods

The Shadowy History Behind the Fight to Save the Redwoods

In 1934, an industrialist and obsessive book collector named A. Edward Newton wrote an article for The Atlantic recounting a trip he had recently taken to see the ancient redwoods of Northern California. He had traveled by night train to the timber town of Scotia, then by motor car up into the quiet, fog-draped forest. When he finally arrived, Newton did what most writers do when faced with some of the tallest trees on Earth: He experienced a wave of awe, his brain short-circuited, and then he resorted to cliché. In the article, he likens the massive trees to “stone columns in a cathedral.” Then he quotes a line of verse from William Cullen Bryant (who was cribbing, in turn, from Pliny the Elder): “The groves were God’s first temples.” Very large and very old trees tend to have this effect on us—they deepen our souls but impoverish our wits. We can’t quite make sense of them. The owner of that ancient forest, the Pacific Lumber Company, had recently battled with conservationists over the right …