J. Matt

California Forest Dispatch
Location: Honolulu
Nationality: USA
Biography: J. Matt is a documentary photographer and feature-writer from, and based in, Honolulu whose work principally focuses on global warming and its intersections with place, ecology, and social, political, and economic histories. Represented by ZUMA... MORE
Public Story
California Forest Dispatch
Copyright J. Matt 2024
Date of Work Dec 1969 - Dec 1969
Updated May 2023
Location California
Topics Media
We are repeatedly told in so many words by foresters and scientists that California’s arboreal emblems will not survive in the majesty we have taken for granted. The plain language of the paper describing the decimation since 1985 is worth repeating: “Post-disturbance recovery has not been able to compensate for recent severe losses of tree cover, and, as a consequence, forest resources are declining across the state.”

Photos and essay published in Places Journal
To lose a totem is destabilizing, individually and culturally, and I have spoken with Californians deeply distressed by the state of the state’s forests. I am not a Californian, but I have seen beetle-wrought devastation in sub-alpine areas of the Sierras, high enough in elevation that the beetles had not previously been able to survive the winter, and the experience has shaken me. This is an irrefutable view of global warming in process, as powerful as watching glaciers calving at the Arctic Circle. We inhabit a time where the symbols we have built on the charnel grounds of the myths told by the state’s first folklorists are themselves being dispatched — and again at our western hands.
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California Forest Dispatch by J. Matt
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