Can you think of an issue in your community where people feel so strongly that they take sides and protest? In northern California, there is a big timber industry, and the people who work in that industry often conflict with the people who want to keep the trees from being cut down -- the environmentalists.
In order to learn about both sides of the conflict, 90 high school students from Humboldt County interviewed loggers, a small landowner, timber company executives, a biologist, and environmental activists. Their project documents the logging boom and the environmental movement of the California north coast, how this conflict affects the local community, and what the future holds for timber and forests.
The timber industry has had a great influence on the economy and ecology of the northern California coast, so this was a good project for these students to study. They learned firsthand about the timber and logging industry and how the federal government manages the national forests. They also learned how environmental activism changed the way national forests are managed and the events that led to the preservation of the Headwaters Forest in 1999.