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'Breathing its Spirit' 

Editor:

I fully understand the grief of P. Givins (Mailbox, Nov. 11) at the spectacle of a giant fir tree, "Sugar Bear," lying dead on a flatbed bound for D.C. But, if I might offer condolence, I was a little kid in NYC, where an equally celebrated tree was brought to Rockefeller Center every Christmas. Always gaspingly beautiful, the crowds were transfixed. City people had never imagined such a tree. Its scent and magnificence suggested an unknown world beyond the cement. A forest.

The great-late Yurok-Karuk-Tolowa woman Jene McCovey told a story about a little tree who received the gift of a song from a passing human and in gratitude offered humans its wood. I think Jene would be glad, thinking of all those city children, standing near our lovely white fir, breathing its spirit.

A spectacle that brings others of us grief is the ravages of PG&E slashing its way through California in the name of fire safety. They are cutting trees that were mature before PG&E even existed. People don't dare to stop this rogue corporation. However, as it treats its risk, PG&E is creating fire hazards. Ground fuels will proliferate, the soils will dry, winds will increase speed. Habitat will diminish.

Forest defenders have been protecting Humboldt Redwoods State Park for more than a month. These trees were saved by a women's blockade, including the mayor of Eureka's wife, in 1924! Now, PG&E is cutting along the buffer, targeting even 300-year-old firs. No EIR, no permit.

And the park is silent.

The irony is, according to the Wall Street Journal, PG&E's new CEO Patti Poppe has decided to put all its power lines underground, as Europe does.

PG&E, do a prudent trim, not this nihilistic madness!

Ratepayers will be grateful too.

Ellen Taylor, Petrolia

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