Yesterday these forests were crimson pink
through the smoke of summer fires
(as if the very air were bleeding here);
today i stand soaking wet
looking thru rain-smeared glasses
sweaty from dancing with thunder;
Drumming tumbles with guitar, banjo & oboe
between Grand fir, bear grass
& sweet purpling huckleberries.
The tapping of the rain
comforts me. Reminds me of earlier,
down the hill where they’re cutting
when i wrapped my arms halfway ’round
a doomed grandmother pine at dawn
–and, crying, i prayed for her deliverance.
14 VIII 94
Susan McCampbell Ring
June-July 1998 Earth First!
Now, the woods are quiet – no chainsaws, no arrests. Cutting has stopped in the two Nez Perce National Forest roadless areas. It stopped when Bruce Bernhardt, a stocky man with a New York accent, became forest supervisor early last year. He announced that six unsold timber sales planned for Cove-Mallard would remain unsold. The forest, he said, has other priorities. “It’s an intact ecosystem and in terms of ecosystem restoration there are so many other places that need to be restored,” he said. Bernhardt made his announcement to halt cutting in Cove-Mallard even before President Clinton unveiled his plan to permanently protect roadless areas in national forests. As an inventoried roadless area, Cove-Mallard’s 77,000 acres are included in 40 million acres up for a fresh look by the public. Although local sawmills facing big income cuts were disappointed, activists were thrilled. –from High Country News