Soul-enriching forests

By MICHAEL MCFARLAND, Ph.D., a member of REP’s California Chapter

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor of the Fresno Bee, June 7, 2000


The conservation of ancient, old-growth forest has been a high priority for many of us in the environmental community.

There are many reasons why these areas of ancient forest deserve protection, but I am especially moved by the following words by historian and writer Thomas Berry:

“The tragedy in the elimination of primordial forests is not the economic but the soul-loss that is involved. For we are depriving our imagination, our emotions and even our intellect of that overwhelming experience communicated by the wilderness. For children to live only in contact with concrete and steel and wires and wheels and machines and computers and plastics, to seldom experience any primordial reality or even see the stars at night, is a soul deprivation that diminishes the deepest of their human experiences.”

I want to applaud President Clinton for his forest conservation initiatives. Ancient forests enrich the lives and souls of all who experience them.