After graduating with a pre-Forestry degree in 1968 from our community college in the Southern San Joaquin Valley in mid-California, I drove up to Arcata, California where my prospective college experience loomed ahead of me that Fall. On my way to my first summer job away from home, all the trappings of adventure were there. I was off to check out my future, to be shaped by Humboldt State College (HSC) Forestry Department.
I recall driving along the Trinity River on Hiway 299, which amounted to a three hour drive through some of the finest scenery I had seen (still quite worthy!). The last thirty miles was a very steep and very curvy stretch of two lane road, loaded with logging trucks, loud with their engine brakes, big with their heavy, one-log loads (some only 8', few longer than 16'). So steep it was, the trucks had reservoirs of water that were gravity-fed through hoses to the big, finned brake drums to cool them, in their long descent into Humboldt Bay. My car, large by today's standards, seemed rather small in their presence.
Loggers and logging truck drivers and contractors in support of the numerous timber operations, all depended on the uninterrupted supply of big redwoods. It had been their source of income, way of life for many decades, generations even, and woe unto anyone who would disturb their way of life.
Well, outside of Humboldt County, and for that matter, the Southern San Joaquin Valley, the era we now know as "The Sixties" had begun. Many things the "Sixties" were, but my focus here is that of the protest movements that came with them. By the late 60's, a fair number of HSC students (most of whom came from outside the County, often urban areas where parents were looking for a safe haven for their kids) had been exposed to some of the movements going on across the US. Awed by the redwood forests they had driven through to get to HSC, they were dismayed at the number of logging trucks, and the redwoods transported by them.
Protests became common (whether for wars, or what have you), and certainly the cessation of harvesting redwoods in and around a presciently created Redwood Park was brought about by such protests as they gathered national force.
Decades have passed since I last was a Humboldt County resident, but just recently it became apparent that The Sixties are still alive and well in Humboldt County, as witnessed by the scene below in Richardson Grove, where CalTrans had plans of doing some curve-widening along tight stretches of Hiway 101, near the Avenue of the Giants (Eureka Times Standard):
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Grand Canyon National ParkBJCP Apprentice Beer Judge
View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:http://www.akbigtreelist.org
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