Trump and the Sequoias

Laura Lothrop

The administration will sacrifice parks for profit


Lately, on my Instagram feed, I’ve come across a torrent of ads begging me to sign a petition demanding that Trump not be allowed to follow through with his plans of cutting down two-thirds of the redwood forest in California.

You know, that one national park with 3,000 year old trees, the oldest one being 5,000 years of age.

Normally, I don’t pay attention to the garbage that pops up on my feed. But then I thought about the context of today, the U.S.’s recent pull-out from the Paris Agreement, as well as the horrendous state of the world’s coral reefs, wild forests and oceans and I thought: this could be very real and imminent.

President Donald Trump has insulted many on his way to becoming the 45th President of the United States of America, but less publicized are the seemingly trivial insults he spews at the natural world and Obama’s immense progress and necessary action toward clean, renewable energy.

At the turning point of progress and development in clean energy, Trump interceded with his desire to “revise” at least eight national monuments and parks in our nation for the purpose of drilling for oil and coal.

According to Earthjustice, an eco-rights activism group, the seven national monuments and parks in California that could be threatened are Giant Sequoia, Berryessa Snow Mountain, Carrizo Plain, Sand to Snow, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains and Mojave Trails. In Arizona, part of the Grand Canyon is also under review.

How will this coal and oil specifically be extracted in California? By cutting down large portions of the Redwood forest.

According to The Guardian, Trump’s administration wants to revise and review protected lands set up in the Antiquities Act and otherwise eliminate regulation of public land for private industry and begin to profit off of the coal and oil reserves still in the United States.

Specifically, they are looking those that just so happen to lay inside of national parks.

Trump’s goal is to regenerate extractive industries such as mining and logging. This is equally detrimental to the health of so many national parks as the offshore drilling on our coastal parks would threaten, and ultimately ruins ecosystems. Fisheries would become even more jeopardized, as would migratory pathways of whales and dolphins, which ultimately exacerbates climate change further.

Devoted supporters of the Giant Sequoia monument fear that this precious coniferous forest will be the carnage of some of the worlds most cherished trees if Trump is allowed to “cut back” on monuments or national parks that span more than 100,000 acres. For reference, Sequoia national park is 403,840 acres.

Trump is making moves to downsize our parks for the sole purpose of profit.

In the long run, we will be left with sticks for trees and glaciers so fracked that they collapse upon themselves.

At a public meeting in June 2017, the Tulare County (where Sequoia National Park resides) supervisors voted 3-2 in support of a plan to shrink the Giant Sequoia national monument to less than a third of its current size.

On June 1, 2017, the United States pulled out of the historic Paris Agreement set up by the UN to incorporate wealthy and developing nations in a collaborative effort to hold one another accountable in their economic and social efforts to reduce climate change.

We in the United States hold an influential position in this world. Yet we have stunningly pulled out on a task force which is certainly needed to see the best future for our one and only planet.

Fine, let Trump embarrass us again by taking our nation off of a major platform which has the sole purpose to improve the earth and hold nations responsible for their emissions and waste.

Lets watch him run wild on Twitter and muddy the names and narratives of real people and events, but to allow him to take a stab at the 3,000 year old trees and any such majestic monument in our nation that gives this land life is unacceptable.

Allowing this would be to completely roll over and let the mouthless redwood wonders be cleared away for a simple profit and cease to exist.

Trees and plant life are not more important than civil rights, but they do give us the air that we breathe which becomes more toxic everyday.

The disrespect and disregard that our leaders have for the home we have on earth and how quickly they will murder the splendorous life that makes it flourish should be among the most talked about issues today, far more talked about than it is currently.  

Be alert and watch what our president is planning. Pay attention to those that pick up the first axe, those that hold the gavel.

Do not turn a blind eye to the sequoia amidst all the other national scandals and remember to vote in this coming election to cast your immediate impact and better the future of this land for its people and natural beauties that cannot speak at all.