July 17th, 1971

At last, I finally think I found my true calling. This is where I belong; in the woods, by myself, just me against nature. My chance to be at the frontier; the frontier of tall, looming trees and filtered sunlight. This landscape of looming behemoths; behemoths that heed the words of no man. Although it pains me to see these once glorious mountainsides and valleys stripped down to bare rock, it is wonderful compared to becoming a worker, forever chained to a desk, with no challenges to overcome. Anyways, it’s not like the forest could ever run out of trees, right? I have the freedom to do whatever I want; take a detour to a neighbouring mountain, or hike along a wooded river. There is nothing that I can fear here; not even the wild cougars and grizzlies can defeat me; I am in my element, as naturally a bird in the air.

 

May 21st, 1979

Is cutting down all of these trees really the right thing? All of my doubts that I have been harbouring over the past years are slowly welling forth, eating away at my resolve. Who am I to be cutting down these these trees that have been here for hundreds of years? I have razed countless forests and valleys, leaving them dead and devoid of life. The tree-eating beast that is society is slowly killing this land and everything within it – with no concern whatsoever. But what can I do about it? All of my complaints to my manager in my reports, my attempt to make him aware of what his company was doing, so far have all been ignored and thrown away, never to be brought up again. There’s no use- I suppose I can do nothing but accept the inevitable destruction of nature.

 

October 11th, 1983

I quit. I want nothing more to do with this company that has no more concern for what they are doing to a land than a lion with a flea. I’ll devote my time towards using my skills to help the forest, using only salvaged trees to make a living. My conscience has finally driven me to act. No longer will I pretend that my job isn’t harming the very environment we live in. I was the last person to ever see some of the most beautiful places in the world, before they were cut down by these two filthy hands of mine. However much I love my job, I can’t keep going on like this, the destroyer of my own utopia.

 

April 3rd, 1993

What have I done? I am now facing probation, like a dog on a leash. That one moment of rage and anger bursting out from within me has caused me to become an caged man, with my every move watched and noted. They’re out to get me… I know this as a fact. I’ve been going to more protests more recently, trying to make as much of a difference as possible to save the forests that I know and love. No matter how many letters and faxes I have sent, and no matter how many people I talk to, I can’t seem to be able to get my message across. Although they have been mostly unsuccessful so far, I still cling to the hope that maybe, just maybe, all of this is doing something. If it wasn’t… the past year of my life would have no meaning at all.

 

July 14th, 1996

Cora is truly the only person I can confide in. Ever since I met her, I she’s the only one I’ve been able to talk to. Those days of us playing cribbage in the yard while laughing together are cherished memories of mine. As I walk along one of the many islands of Haida Gwaii, with Cora, a yellow shape, stretching up into the sky starts to appear. A tree. Except a tree unlike any other. I hear Cora gasp in wonder at what we were seeing. I gasp; but gasped instead in horror.

 

The tree was a sickly yellow, from the bottom to the very tip of the tree. An abomination of nature is the only way I could describe it. The tree defied order, proclaiming its uniqueness openly, for all to see. All around, I could see the stumps of those trees that had been standing there for hundreds of years, only to be cut down, with the golden spruce and the trees around it left behind as an awkward attempt to assuage the doubts of those who opposed the logging industry. As if leaving behind a patch of trees to please a few tourists dropping by in their air-conditioned tour buses would make a difference! Rage started to well up inside me; rage at the companies that ignored what they were doing to the environment while their executives raked in money; rage at those who stand by and do nothing about the destruction of the world around them; rage at the golden spruce. Something had to change, and only I could do anything to make that happen.

 

January 22nd, 1997

The wind is strong as I make my way across the dark landscape, with the expanse of blackened sky looming overhead, like a hole in the heavens. All my my worldly possessions were on me, with everything else given away without a second thought. I was ready to make a difference. Ready to right a fundamental wrong in this world. Ready to cut down the very symbol of the hypocrisy and ignorance of the logging industry: the Golden Spruce.

 

I started my chainsaw. As I start to slide it into the tree, the blade passes by hundreds and hundreds of years of history. The life of the tree, from birth to death. From its beginnings as an object of worship of the Haida, to the landing of the first Europeans, to a simple tourist attraction in the present day. This was no wrong- this was the only option to save our beautiful landscapes that are our forests. Even though cutting down this tree may be  With every cut of my blade, I am one step closer to opening the eyes of British Columbians across the province. One step closer to kick-starting the change that will keep our forests intact. And one step closer to preserving the natural paradise that I know and love for future generations to come.