Lauren Sloss
3 minute read
26 Jun 2021
11:00 am

Importance of forests: understanding connections

Lauren Sloss

Old-growth forests – particularly redwood forests – are critical actors removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere

The Avenue of the Giants, a scenic road through Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California, June 1, 2021. Redwoods are a beloved fixture of the West, beautiful and soaring with thick, almost furry red-hued bark, deep trunk grooves and lush green needles. (Drew Kelly/The New York Times)

In a grove of old-growth forests in Northern California’s Humboldt Redwoods State Park, emerald-tinged light filters through a dense green canopy. Fallen tree trunks are coated in a riot of fluorescent green growth and crescent-shaped oyster mushrooms. Stumps, 6m in diameter, are obscured with budding wildflowers and ferns. Surrounded by these 500-yearold giants, I feel a needed sense of calm. After a year of terrifying change, deadly disease, sociopolitical unrest and raging fire, the forest remains a place where I can come to be still. But stillness is an illusion here. The redwoods, seemingly unmovable, are always growing and adapting...