Upon the whole I think I never passed through a finer forest of round-headed hardwood trees. The average height can hardly be less than 100 feet; many of them are far taller, 125 to 140 feet. But they are being rapidly destroyed. The ground they are growing on is comparatively level, rising gradually to about 6000 feet above the sea. Soil fairly fertile. Lumbermen rent or buy large tracts; cut the most valuable, Robley, etc, then ruthlessly burn all that’s left; nine-tenths or so. Dry limbs and brush are piled around every tree and the burning goes on until nothing but black monuments are left of all the flowery leafy woods. Then wheat is sown around the stumps and rubbish and scratched and reaped with sickles. The raggedest Canadian backwoods fields are smooth and soothing in comparison. Only on small scale can even New Zealand show equal tree desolation.
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist