MORE THOUGHTS ON THE CLEAR CUT

An overall view of the site of the previous entry.

An overall view of the site of the previous entry.

Coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) are unique to the coastal areas of northern California. I live in a second-growth forest about two miles from downtown Arcata at an elevation of about 900′. The trees on our property are about seventy-five years old. The Arcata Community Forest (ACF) which abuts our place is comprised, in a large part, of slightly older second-growth trees (about four years ago I counted 125 rings in a freshly cut stump).

The Arcata Community Forest is managed in a sustained yield plus manner (my layperson term). What I mean is that the ACF is a working forest. Timber is cut, regularly and the proceeds help pay for the management of the forest and its expenses. Instead of just growing enough to replace the harvested mass, the forest biomass is allowed to grow more wood than is harvested. This allows individual trees to obtain larger sizes and thus more timber per tree and the timber is of a higher quality because there is more heartwood.

I took these photographs of a timber company’s harvest. The contrast of management styles are obvious (even though that is not what I am attempting to convey with the images). These images are of a redwood tree that was not harvested when the surrounding forest was clear-cut several years ago. I assume that the tree suffered broken branches as nearby trees fell around it. It now is covered with sprouting branches, and will likely continue to grow into some form of a misshaped redwood.

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About Thomas Bethune

THOMAS ALLEN BETHUNE I have been interested in photography for most of my life. I started taking photographs with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was eight years old. My early subjects were trains and engineered structures as well as landscapes and family portraits. My interests and vision have matured, but the subjects that catch my eye continue to be of the same genre as my earliest visions. A neighbor man had a darkroom, and he showed me the basics of camera operation and darkroom processing. I took courses in art and photography in high school and college. I worked as an apprentice to a commercial wedding and event photographer, and I was in charge of a recreational dark room while I was in the military. As an adult, I earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Humboldt State University. My experience with film formats included 35mm, 2 ¼”, and 4”x 5”. I exhibited at galleries near my home in Arcata California, and in Santa Fe New Mexico. All my current work is digital. I am scanning many of my legacy negatives and slides. I sometimes process and print the scanned negatives. I often post them on my blog. I process all of my prints with archival media. An award winning fine art photographer living in a redwood forest. BA Photography Director, Redwood Art Association, Eureka CA Co-curator, F Street Foto Gallery, Eureka CA
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