(Earth Matters) We seem to have created a culture where destroying nature is both profitable and the cool thing to do, so when an individual or group of people take on the challenge of honoring and preserving our natural world, we can be surprised to find there is hope after all.
The tallest, largest and oldest beings in all the world are the Giant Redwood trees of Western North America, Sequoia sempervirens. They can grow up to 350 feet tall and live to be an estimated 4000 years old, yet the western gold rush of the 1800’s triggered the destruction of some 95% of these magnificent trees, and the race is on to save the rest.
Concerned with a changing climate and a warming western coast, arborist David Milarch is taking up this challenge by cloning some of the most hearty specimens of these trees in coastal California and transplanting them further north into Oregon with the hopes that their numbers can in time be restored to something close to what they previously were.
“I feel tremendous sorrow that 95 percent of them were killed and we didn’t even know what they do to anchor our ability as human beings to live on this planet. We killed them. That’s the bad news. It’s my job when I walk through there [the forest] to yell out to those trees, to hold those trees, and say I’m here to do everything in my power on Earth to bring all the human beings and all the help that I can to put this back. To put back every single tree that was cut down and killed. And I’m going to do it.” ~David Milarch
His passion for saving the redwoods is inspired by the deep spiritual connection he feels when walking among them in the remaining old-growth forests, as well as his remarkable experience of a near-death experience in 1991 in which he literally died of renal failure yet somehow came back to life as a changed man.
Milarch’s efforts to clone these magnificent trees shows us what a single person can do in the face of extraordinary ecological crises, and his project directly challenges the notion that we are helpless.
“This effort serves two purposes: First, as the planet warms and conditions for these redwoods change in their southernmost range, it is likely that many of these trees will die. By cloning and replanting them further north in places where they once thrived but have been clearcut, Milarch will preserve these majestic giants. Second, redwood trees are among the most effective carbon sequestration tools in the world. By planting these seedlings, Milarch takes part in a global effort to use one of nature’s most impressive achievements to re-chart a positive course for humanity.”
His story is featured in the award-winning short film Moving the Giants, Milarch’s efforts:
Source: Earth Matters
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