Conservation trends

My pledge to keep my boots on trails

Redwoods beckon to people everywhere, attracting folks from all walks of life who want to stand in the presence of the tallest trees, be humbled by something incredibly old and strong, and dwarfed by the quiet dignity of these trees. But flocking to the base of redwoods with disregard for established trails created for your safety and the safety of the forest is inexcusable. We all have a responsibility to make the world better than we found it and for redwood lovers, that means keeping our footprints out of the heart of the forest.

The hunt for something elusive is human nature, a drive that pushed humanity to every corner of the Earth over many generations. Our footsteps and tracks weave through every habitat and now there is no nature without humans. But do we have it within our human nature to resist the urge to explore when our exploration results in the degradation of the very thing we seek? Can we leave any stones unturned? Can we resist the call to personally visit every large redwood?!

We can and we must. I pledge to not seek out trees off trail in the forest for personal pleasure and to instead rally to reclaim the forest for the trees by keeping boots on trails.

So to this I say to the individuals who publicize the secret locations of remarkable redwoods: How will you protect these trees now that their centuries of anonymity are ruined? How will you take responsibility for this cult following that lures people off trail to trample plants, compact soil, and welcome deposition of human excrement? None of us can hide the tallest trees on Earth, but providing a detailed technological guide to literally anyone is a betrayal of the ancient redwoods themselves. If you love redwoods, please stop.

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