San Luis Valley Logging

I have had the pleasure to be able to talk to a long time valley resident about the early days of logging in the San Luis Valley. I call him Big John and until I get his permission to share more, I will leave it at that but most of you probably can guess who that is from the name.

He is a great historian and hopefully, he will be there next spring when I return and can pick his brain for stories that I can record and document. He had the first chainsaw in the valley and is 95 this year, still working in heavy equipment.

He told me of cutting millions of years of trees in a year. The trees they were cutting were more than 500 years old from ring counts and they were clearcut without thought for tomorrow. But there was a nation to build and wars to fight and housing to provide so the money drove the cutting like anything else.

I am always amused by the apartment dwellers in the cities that point their fingers at the oil company's or others who mine or farm or whatever as destroyers of the land but they themselves use airlines, cars, taxis, heat and cooling for their multiple homes etc. We all use it just some people provide the energy.

We can never escape that fact. We can do a better job with what we have but if you buy a board at the lumber yard, you cut a tree. or someone cut it for you. The best we can do is replant those and use them as efficiently as possible.