Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Sadly Feel-Good Story...and Ultrarunning

[Image credit here.  School children posing on the Fieldbrook Stump, a huge coast redwood outside McKinleyville, Calif., sometime in the 1890s.]

This guy is doing some forward-thinking:

A Michigan nurseryman and his team of tree climbers and horticulturists have cloned the world's biggest redwoods and giant sequoias, bringing some of them back from stumps cut more than 100 years ago.
With the winter rains has come the time to plant them. Two hundred and fifty clones carrying an exact genetic copy from 18 different trees — many of them bigger when they lived than anything left standing today — will start going into the ground Tuesday on a ranch along the southern Oregon Coast.
David Milarch, co-founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and the Champion Tree Project, hopes the small plantation south of Port Orford, Ore., will give the ancient giants a leg up on moving north to cooler climes as the climate changes and be the start of a campaign to plant some of the world's fastest-growing trees all around the globe.

Read the whole article here.  I say in the title "A Sadly Feel-Good Story..." in that it is a shame that these magnificent trees were ever cut in the first place, and that now climate change is threatening the survivors.  Of course, the Feel-Good part is that we have some one who is doing something positive to improve the future, despite the mistakes of the past.

Hope translated into action is a great force.

The connection to Ultrarunning is that although I am an east-coaster, my work has taken me many times to the west coast, where I was able to do some trail running among these giant trees.

It's like being in the presence of the eternal.  Or like being in a cathedral, where, if you must speak, you use your shushed library voice.  My heart is so envious of runners who can do this every day.

We traveled to CA this past summer to visit relatives, and took Mister Tristan (the 4-year-old human being, not the blog) and his 8-year old cousin on the trip.  Our objective, besides the family time, was to expose these young people to things they might not otherwise get a chance to see...among them, the largest trees on the planet.

Our hope is that something of the majesty of these trees will stick in those young minds and produce fruit later.

Here's one of my photos from our trip:



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