Big Lonely Doug

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only when viewing from a source like google earth do you realize how much of our forests have been clear cut across the continent. having grown up in some of the most rural areas of the west it is heart breaking to remember what was and to see how things are now. where i live you can scan the ridges on both sides of the valley, the peaks and struggle to find even a handful of living trees. many of the trees were cut for timber and those spared were taken out in mass due to beetle kill. over the course of a decade we lost nearly all our forests, my backyard so to speak.

in addition here & in wy, in n.m., again using satellite imagery, you can see how just in the past five years alone countless rectangular patches of forest have been carved out for oil derricks. while in the pacific n.w. there is sufficient precipitation for forests to grow back relatively quickly that isn’t the case here. areas cut or burnt by fires even after decades still look like near barren moonscapes,…our trees simply don’t grow back as it is become to hot and dry for new growth. yet another negative effect caused by human beings and greed aka climate change.

last but not least, when i plugged in the coordinates for that lone tree survivor i was very surprised by what i saw. in the middle of that clear cut hillside of course sits the lonely tree but its shadow at the time the photo was shot, ENORMOUS! the shadow shows as larger than the tree itself. a virtual sign so to speak for what we have lost and what we might regain if we had sufficient vision and will to act on it.

i worry it’s too late for my generation to enjoy much of the benefits of making things right at this point. regardless future generations absolutely could and deserve that opportunity. sadly a legacy we have to easily squandered IMHO.

It’s become iconic, locally, and a Vancouver Island t-shirt company even made a t-shirt of it.