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#Mattole’s Ancient Forest: Thoughts from Rook, the tree sitter on Long Ridge

Mattole forest, California: Thoughts from Rook, the tree sitter on Long Ridge.

Originally published by Save the Mattole’s Ancient Forest Facebook page. Written by Rook. Image: Rook’s view toward Taylor Peak and Buckeye Mountain.

For the last four days, the guards under this tree have tried to engage me in conversation. They’ve been on their best behavior. No threats, no taunts. They’ve expressed concern for my safety. Offered to send me up a beer. Aside from one brief, clumsy attempt at harassment, they’ve not bothered me much. One of them whistles through entire classical scores, and it’s really pretty nice. I’m sure he’s someone’s favorite uncle.

I still have nothing “friendly” to say to them, or about them.

They’re on the wrong side.

They’re carrying tasers and handcuffs to hurt and detain us.

They’re here to starve me out of this tree so it can be felled.

I sit up in my perch, listening to the thunder of trees falling, close, across the creek on brushy ridge. Fourteen so far, this morning. I think about a future without forests. Trees are falling down the coast from so-called British Columbia to California. (Fifteen trees down, now). Cedars, Firs, Redwoods becoming lumber, pulp, biomass, tree plantations….. Smoke.

How long can it continue, how long until we create a climate unable to support healthy forests? (Sixteen).

Another generation? Two? (Seventeen, eighteen).

Whatever their intentions, the men who guard this tree, who hunt us in the woods, who escort the loggers to work each morning, are doing their part to create the future their descendants will inherit – one of famine, climate migration, global poverty. (Nineteen)

They are enabling the ecological collapse.

They are making me watch the destruction of a place I love.

I’m not interested in helping them feel better about that.

We’re fighting for a better world, and they’re in the way.

(Twenty trees down).

Rook, June 12, 2019.

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