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Letter: Voice for the wilderness

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Citizens! Do not let this situation go unheeded! Near the Alewife T station there is a stand of silver maple trees, including an ancient Mother Tree and her offspring. Preserving this keystone forest would represent a social, environmental and civic victory that would rank with the preservation of a threatened redwood grove in California or tracts of rainforest in the Amazon.

For 20 years I have worked to preserve forest land in my redwood country home in Northern California, and have traveled to southern Chile to see remnant Alerce cedar groves there. The Alewife forest is equal to these forests in my eyes because of its unique position in the overall social ecology of the Cambridge-Belmont-Arlington region. Generations of children and their children deserve an integrated, functioning example of how humans, trees, towns, commerce and animals can stand together in a common nature of respect and harmony. The citizens of your region have a special opportunity to demonstrate to the world how human activity can abide with the earth. Rise to the higher good!

I urge you to heed the call and work to preserve the Alewife stand.

Andy Barnett
Humboldt County, Calif.

(a slightly different version of this letter appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle, with a January 15, 2004 date)