- Abigail Wilson
Desecration of Heaven: Loss and logging in North Carolina's paradise creek
This essay was written as part of Kincentricity, a collection of map-based woodblock prints and writing which explores the relational archetypes present between humans and the ecosystems which surround us.
It is the role of all beings to make use of the resources around us: the transformation of grass into bower, the rock which opens the fruit. But man created tools, and then man created surplus. From bounty we found our own way to ownership, to greed, to exploitation. Sometimes we must feel the lack our tools cause before we choose to do something about it. In the late 1800s, rivers throughout the Appalachians choked on the trunks of old-growth trees floating down their waters to the sawmills. German forester Carl Schenck watched the rich ecosystem of Big Creek, among many others, pummeled into a muddy trough devoid of life — then an acceptable byproduct of fluming. The horror he felt inspired the creation of a whole new way of looking at forest resources, one which sought to protect and replenish its supplies.
The interdependence of ecosystems continues to dawn upon us. We are realizing that our species’ stability is only slightly more assured than that of the owls who used to roost in logged tracts.
We are confronted with a choice: do we continue to dominate what we think we own, or collaborate from within a living system?
Do we use our tools to destroy, or to build up?