Saving The West

The Sagehen Forest Project has spun off several remarkable related projects.

Saving The West (STW) is a policy document developed by the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure at UC Santa Cruz, including artist Newton Harrison and consultant Josh Harrison. STW is being developed as a rallying point to bring together a group of folks interested in addressing the glaring hole in the Sagehen Forest Project: the lack of a California market for raw wood product.



Going into the collaborative process, we all thought that getting environmentalists and loggers to agree would be the hard part. But, given a little time, that turned out to be relatively easy: everyone benefits from a healthy forest. Yet, now that we all agree on what needs to be done, we are stymied by the lack of someone to buy even the saw logs coming off the forest, much less the wood chip and small diameter wood. For the unit treatments around the station which are being funded by the National Forest Foundation (NFF) grant, we are just masticating everything into chip that will be burned on the ground. Or chopping and stacking logs into burn piles. This seems so wasteful: that material should be used, and continue to act as carbon storage.

The Center is working to put forestry issues onto the platform of the Democratic presidential nominee, as well as into the Governor's office. If these politicians start to hear about this need from both the scientists and the artists, it carries more weight and importance.

We have begun to bring Cathexis Architecture into the conversation. Cathexis has an impressive redevelopment project planned for a sizable chunk of downton Reno, NV, and they would like to build at least one wooden skyscraper. Binderholz, an Austrian company that manufactures engineered wood products, is planning to open a plant in the US. They are looking in the Pacific Northwest, but the NFF is reaching out to try to connect them with the Reno Dept. of Economic Development. If we could develop a market for wood product here, that reduces transportation costs to get material out of the forest.

The Proposal:
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