Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cutting Old Growth in Washington?

My wife and I recently decided to go camping in the old growth of the Gifford Pinchot National Forrest in Washington. We figured we’d get some well deserved r&r and replenish our energy. Not so. On our 2nd day in we saw 4 late teens walk past our campsite; one carrying an axe. We wondered out loud why someone would be carrying an axe on Federal land, but out of common sense decided not to inquire. 4 with an axe outweighs 2 without one any day.

We’re sitting there at around 1:30 when we hear chopping. We looked at each other and realized these people were cutting down a tree. We could make out their silhouettes through the brush, and sure enough they were swinging away. After about 15 minutes I saw the tree come down. We hoped the camp host would also hear it as she was in a site about 5 or 6 away from ours. After some hooting and hollering, the kids came out of the woods; walking past us and looking like their thoughts were; “What are you going to do about it?”

Another 15 minutes rolled by and we heard a gun blast from the direction they went. I kid you not. All on Federal land. Within the next ½ hour we heard another 5 shots fired. I’d say we were wise not to point out the whole axe thing. These kids were obviously whack jobs.

About an hour later the camp host came by and asked if we’d heard anything strange. We filled her in on what we’d seen and heard, and I showed her the tree that had been cut down. She acted very angry, but my hunch was that she was also afraid to approach them. Why she didn’t call for back-up is anyone’s guess. She left to call her boss.

An hour later they both showed up. She took him to look at the tree, and then they both came over to our site. They had an Incident Report that they said they wanted me to fill out, which I did. I’m wondering if anything will become of it or not. They have my contact info.

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