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Rainforest, Rainforests


Michael Stipe
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

Rio's Attic Campaign: #00010


Seeing Red

The plight of tropical rainforests in areas such as South America is well documented. What isn't as well known though is the grave situation facing ancient forest habitats in more temperate climates. These living, breathing eco-systems can actually contain eight times more biomass than is found in an equal area of tropical rainforest.

Since California's gold-rush inspired population explosion in the 1850's, over 96% of North America's temperate forests have been cut down and logged. Only small isolated pockets of "old growth" remain in areas such as North California and British Columbia.

Ancient redwood trees bear little resemblance to the more common varieties that can be found in local woods, parks and gardens. If not victim to felling activities redwoods have a natural life span of some two thousand years and individual specimens have been found that are 380 feet tall with trunks measuring a staggering 30 feet in width. To achieve these sort of dimensions, nature has provided these trees with enormous strength and a particularly strong resistance to fire and disease. It is these very properties which allow them to live so long that makes their wood extremely desirable by industry as a building material.

The Rainforest Action Network are actively campaigning against the selling of old growth products by retailers. In addition, Michael Stipe and his band R.E.M. have also recently lent their support to this campaign.


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