Clearcuts for paper blight landscape…
When you know to look for them, you suddenly find that mass-clearcuts in the Southern Swamplands region of North Carolina and Virginia are rife on the landscape. Though the paper companies seem to have figured out that a thin veil of pines, three or four trees deep, can fool the average 70 mph passerby on the highway, to the residents of this area – clearcuts are not easily overlooked.
On my most recent trip down to Wilmington, I was tipped off by one such savvy North Carolinian. Just miles north of town – a new and massive clearcut. A leader from the North East New Hanover Conservancy pointed it out to me on a map – “just turn right off the exit ramp. You won’t miss this one,” she said. And I didn’t.
Ditching and draining in all its full blown horrific glory was on full display in this tract that my car wasn’t even able to fully traverse without running the risk of an empty tank. But I was able to snap a few photos from a once-useful hunting blind – now just a ghost on the landscape.
Continuing to document the paper companies’ clearcutting and landscape blighting was an ironic highlight of the trip, but on a more heartening note – there are a lot of folks mobilizing to oppose this kind of mass destruction. Some of them are the hunters who had such a sub-par deer season this past year – habitat fragmentation seem plausible to anyone else after seeing these photos? Some of them are the students and community activists that are jumping on board to plan forest tours and consumer action with us. And some of them are even in local government. These fast food companies sourcing their paper packaging from these kinds of clear cuts are all based in Ohio, based in NY, based anywhere but where their behavior is most impactful. So, we’re responding with a clear message – we live here and we’re demanding better!