Old Forests

by Edward Le Prieur

Gros Morne National Park, near my home.

Gros Morne National Park, near my home.

I was reminded by a post made by Mr. Vikernes on his blog Thulean Perspective of a similar time when “progress” had destroyed a beautiful area of forest where I spent a great deal of time as a child. In my home the number of old growth forests is dwindling as forestry is a major part of the economy in my home; there is a large mill that produces paper for newsprint in the town closest to me. The ones that do remain are for the largest part protected national parks or areas that the harvesters of the paper company simply cannot reach.

There was one place where we had a small log cabin that my grandfather owned. As he was a trapper, and they were permitted to have a cabin in any location they chose. As a child I spent many summers there deep in the forest with nothing more than a simple wood stove no electricity and a small stream as our source of drinking water. The forest surrounding the small cabin was beautiful and very old, made up primarily of spruce and fir trees all very, very old. Moss covered all the large rocks, and into the valley filled with fern and lichen of the stream next to the cabin. If you followed the stream back about twenty meters there was a small pool with a waterfall where we would fish.  It was beautiful and idyllic in every sense of the world. I have wondrous memories of wandering through the forest in complete silence. We were about twenty kilometres from the nearest town. Then on a clear night the sky would be shining with a million stars. The moon bright would light up the forest, and you could nearly walk about as if it were day time such was the light.

Then all in one fell swoop about a year ago, the paper company knowing there is timber to be had, and money to be made encroaches on this sacred grove and rapes the land. I do not use any term of endearment when describing what they did there, but it could only be described in such a way. I can’t describe what I felt upon seeing it in that condition; such a mixture of anger and sadness. The log cabin now stands lone in a field of scattered limbs and stumps of what once was a beautiful forest. Man forgets too soon that he does not own the earth, but the earth owns us. Man should not treat mother nature as a fire to be kindled, but as a garden to nurture.