07.29.21: G-O Rd., CA

Mountain Quail-led road reclamation project!

This is a Mountain Quail in the G-O Road—a road that (note the toaster-oven sized boulder) will probably be drivable for just a few more seasons. It was cut in the 1980s, when the USFS decided that the extraction of 928 million board feet would be a productive use of the Siskiyous.

But the high Siskiyous are hallowed land, the place where Yurok go to do and prepare for ceremony. One of these types of ceremony is a world renewal ceremony, “to put the world back in its original place after it has tipped on its axis.” To stabilize the earth. But 928 million board feet, right?!

In 1983, a judge ruled that the USFS violated the 1st amendment (on religious freedom grounds) (!!) All but 13 miles of the road had been completed. Now, though the pavement is still in good condition, the road is becoming covered in rocks. Conifer needles cover most of the lanes; grass a couple feet high grows from the centerline.

The Yurok recommended that the completed segments be leveled, returned to a more natural state… and the reclamation project is happening, carried out by the feet of Mountain Quail (this family of 7 certainly contributed!), chipmunks, lizards…

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