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Re: RC: I Confess> Tree-hugger

>> From: Claudia Provin <>

>> > Okay, I can guess all day, and I have several ideas---but I'd like to
>> > it "from the horses' mouths"---what, exactly,  ARE tree-huggers?  Is it
>> > ideology or an official organization? (G).

What this came from was situations where people would try to stop loggers
from cutting down old growth forest by tying themselves to the tree.  Once
they started overcoming this, we started seeing people sitting in trees.
This practice came about because sometimes there would be an injunction
pending in court to stop a cutting (esp. on public land), so the loggers
would rush in before the judge could do anything - hence people would try
to make sure they couldn't do any cutting.  I guess all this seems silly in
the minds of most people who have never been in an old growth forest and
don't understand, so it caught on in the popular language to just mean
someone who is concerned about the environment, but has connotations of
being someone who takes it to extremes, and is a term often used to
ridicule someone.  

Much of my schooling is in Environmental Engineering, and we're not a
terribly liberal bunch overall - but one does have to recognize that (for
example) if it takes 50 years for a forest to recover from a clear-cut to
the point it can be cut again (this is about right for the PNW), then if
you're cutting at a faster rate than 2% of your land per year, there's some
point you run out and can't cut any more.  Unfortunately, it seems like the
logging companies don't do this sort of math very well, so they're running
out.  It's also to some degree an artifact of history - they cut everything
in sight in the 30's, so it became ripe again in the 80's.  There's so
little old growth forest left that we can buy maps at the book store so
that we can even FIND these places that I can't see where the logging
companies ought to be in there, but this is ridecamp, not the environmental
discussion list, so...

David LeBlanc

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