Ancient forests: pure Gold

"Lessons From The Ancient Forest: Earth Wisdom And Political Activism," slides and stories presented by Lou Gold

he big trees in our National For- ests are still not protected. Lou Gold, tireless and eloquent voice for the ancient forest, is on the road again with slides and stories to counteract the public perception that the ancient forests are protected.

Join San Diego Earth Day and the Sierra Club at Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center, One Father Serra Trail, off of Mission Gorge Road on Friday, April 25 at 7pm to welcome Lou Gold's Roadshow to San Diego.

"Lessons for the Ancient Forest: Earth Wisdom & Political Activism," is a dynamic slide show presented in storytelling format. Lou weaves factual details about ancient forests into his own personal experiences on Bald Mountain in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southwest Oregon.

The show begins with a lesson in forest ecology, focusing on what an intact forest is all about. The second part shows the damaging consequences of taking forests apart and discusses the political and economic forces that have resulted in the present alarming rate of destruction. The third section motivates people to get involved locally, nationally and globally. Lou "preaches the gospel" of individual empowerment and helps people understand that action is a meaningful antidote to despair.

Lou Gold is a former college professor who taught American government and urban politics at Oberlin College in Ohio and at the University of Illinois. Widely known as an outstanding teacher, he left his academic career to lead a quiet life in the last great coastal wilderness region. When he found it threatened by chain saws, Lou took a stand on a remote peak to speak for the bears and the owls.

Lou, a storyteller and wilderness hermit, toured the country for many years with his popular slide show, which was presented more than 600 times and touched more than 100,000 people. In 1994, following the so-called Clinton compromise on the ancient forest issue, he retired from his role as the hermit-with-the-most-frequent-flyer-miles.

But the mood in Congress changed. The so-called Salvage Rider was passed, setting aside all environmental laws. The White House caved in, and hopes for an end to the timber wars were torn asunder. Logging-without-laws began. Mainstream Americans were outraged. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested. And the big trees began falling again. They still are.

Today, it's not only the bears and owls who are at risk. The runs of wild salmon are on the brink of extinction, and floods and devastating landslides are occurring on a regular basis. Millions of dollars of property damage, city water systems contaminated or completely shut down for weeks, and the tragic loss of human lives are but some of the costs of the still-unabated attack on our forests.

The darkest days of the Salvage Rider ended in December, 1996, but there will be more logging based on the timber sales rushed through before it expired. And there is some devastating new legislation being introduced in Congress right now. New "salvage" schemes and attacks on the Endangered Species Act are truly national in scope; our public forests are threatened across the country.

The good news is that there are new opportunities on the horizon as well. Grassroots coalitions are putting forth exciting new visions, such as the Act to Save America's Forests, new Zero Cut legislation, several regional ecosystem protection acts, and a new campaign to achieve permanent protection for the Siskiyou Wildlands.

Lou Gold's slides and stories convey a clear and urgent sense of the importance of Ancient Forests and what they mean to human life. His message is one of hope and opportunity. An encounter with Lou Gold and his vivid slide show will convince even the most skeptical of the urgent need to protect our quickly vanishing natural areas.

Seating is extremely limited for this event. Please call (619) 299-1743 for more information or to secure your reservation with a $5 donation. A brief reception will follow.