(Mostly anonymous to protect members
who have spoken out)
From someone attending
the Bohemian Encampment:
"I find that very few Club
members have any idea as to what is going on. All the members
know is that the Club is trying to reduce the fire risk
and they feel that this is a good thing. The Club
certainly has not been open and truthful with the members
about all the issues and why the application has been opposed.
They blame it all, simplistically, on a dissident named Hooper
without explaining the issues and the real reason for the Commission's
Incidentally, almost all the tan oaks are dying in the Grove
a real fire hazard!
-from an avid Bohemian hiker, 2003
"The administration of the Grove cutting program has
been a bizarre ghastly tragedy. When I was first a Bohemian (late
1960's), the Grove was more or less in a natural state: redwoods
in the wet, shady valleys, along with umbelaria (bayP and acer
macrophyta (maple), the Pseudeotsuga Menziesii (Douglas fir)
in a band up the slope along the edge of the redwoods and then,
higher up the slope, hardwood: lithocarpus and arbutus m. et
al. Some of the magnificent Pseudotsugas were just outside Santa
Barbara Camp and were over three hundred years old (I know because
I have had the tragic occasion to count the rings).
And now the club does not have, and can
never recover, the natural virgin redwood Grove that the early
founder thout to preserve for us forever."
-from an avid Bohemian hiker, 2003
"Congrats on a fine report (Impacts of Logging
in the Bohemian Grove, 2003)! I think it is a masterpiece and the
Club should be indebted to you for it and the questions you have
raised. I cannot for the life of me see how responsible officials
can ignore it. Let's hope they don't. If they do, I feel strongly
that this information should be brought before the membership."
-from another Bohemian hiker
"Keep in mind that the Bohemian Club leadership
has been receiving signals that something is amiss in the backcountry
for years and yet has taken no steps whatsoever either to modify
forest practices or to develop a mechanism for members of the Club
to become involved in this most important issue."
-from a Bohemian 2002
"Sat at dinner last night with Eric Pedley
(former Club president) who wanted to know why you were such a
ship-stirrer. He stunned me by saying: 'He could get himself kicked
out of the club.' I said it sounded as though Jock had raised some
interesting points that needed airing. Eric felt the subject was
closed and should be left to the experts, like Osterling. Then
the show started, for which I was grateful."
- from a 30 year member to Club President
Dick Behrendt, fall 2003
"As a tree farm, I can only assume
we are doing all the right things, and in a first class manner. But
since we're not a tree farm, and certainly don't need to be for the
modest revenue derived, it seems reasonable to ask what is the point
of acting like one... To my untrained eye, Jock's arguments seem
quite persuasive. He is hardly a tree hugger, having in place a timber
harvest plan on his own Mendocino property, as you know... To date,
I'd bet very, very few members have a clue what our forest practices
and polices are... it must be in our long-term best interest to educate
the membership before any further cutting is undertaken at the Grove."
-from a Bohemian to a Board member,
in August 2003
"On my cross-country hike, the
trees marked for logging in 2004 were generally the largest in any
group of three or five. Many of them were magnificent Douglas Firs.
They are unquestionably the oldest specimens in the area I traversed.
Their felling strikes me as nonsensical."
-from a letter from a long-term member
to President Jack Bickel, August 2002
"This year we found the trails
in poorer condition than in any previous year I can remember, specifically,
the upper part of Incinerator and Cathedral Ring trails, damaged
by recent logging. The logging operations of the past several years
have substantially reduced the aesthetic appeal of the trail system
to those of us who treasure the pristine nature of the Grove on our
daily morning hikes from the Museum."
-from a long term Bohemian, August
"Well said, Jock. I admire your
tenaciousness and your tensile strength. I think Dick Behrendt is
signing letters that the Presidents minions - legal and otherwise
- are putting before him. They're saying, "Aha, we've nailed
him now. He's ready to grovel. Wrong guy. Regards."
-from a Bohemian hiker -
"Thanks for sending me your paper.
Why don't you publish it in the Library Notes under the title: Going,
going, gone: the loss of our forest legacy."
-from a Bohemian hiker
"Problem is, these harvests are
not a one time deal; the Club's plan (and we see it happening) is
to re-enter these same areas every 15 years, so the disruption caused
by timber harvesting get repeated over and over and accumulates."
-from a camp Captain
"The club membership seems to be
completely uninformed as to what is going on. If informed, they may
prove to be very supportive - though I doubt it. The need is very
clear for a presidential letter to the membership spelling out what
the plan is, and seeking their views on what the membership thinks
is in its best interests. It's hard not to think, when considering
going to the membership, What's to lose? Maybe they already know
all about it and I'm the dim, uninformed bulb. But I don't remember
ever receiving as much as a word on the subject. So what is it, who's
for it and why?”
-from a long-time Bohemian Club member
"The damage to the Grove is already
terrible and irremediable and nothing can be done without a complete
change of persons responsible - which, as you well know, will never
happen. The plain fact is that the board of directors does not give
a damn - the number of Bohemian hikers (the constituency for the
forest) is minuscule and the management is socially and politically
entrenched. No doubt they are good fellows while drinking at the
bar, and have many good friends who don't give a rat's ass for the
forest but will be fiercely protective of their friends from any
criticism from tree-hugging soreheads. I wish you luck, though I
bet you a nickel you will be defeated by the usual stonewalling,
lies and evasions of the entrenched bureaucracy."
-reactions of a club leader after
a winter hike, January 2003
"I can tell you from an inspection
2 weeks ago that it looks terrible - like no clean-up has been done.
The water breaks seem to be in but what a mess elsewhere."
-from a Bohemian
"You have done a fantastic job
(briefing the Grove Committee about forestry) and all the Club members
owe you their thanks!"
-reactions of a registered professional
forester (RPF), July 2004
"I'm impressed with all the work
you've done trying to protect old growth within the Grove! It does
seem a shame that an ownership such as this would just have run of
the mill logging. I would think that the caliber of its membership
would require state of the art management. I think your approach
so far with the Grove is good. I'm not sure I could add anything
other than support your efforts in the retention of larger trees."
-from a Bohemian
"I have received a copy of Jock
Hooper's email concerning NTMP. It's quite disturbing. If it is true
that the plan is to triple the timber harvest, that seems uncalled
for. I think the general membership has no knowledge of this. It's
not easy to see what to do about this."
-Jock Hooper responds:
"I am not sure what to do next.
The Club leadership has made it clear that it will not even discuss
the issue on its merits with me, that my behavior is 'un-Bohemian'
and I have been threatened both with disciplinary action and expulsion
from the Club. With that discouraging attitude as backdrop, and thinking
of the issue strictly from the point of view of protecting a beautiful
grove of trees, I wonder if it might be better if I resigned from
the Bohemian Club and published an article about what is really going
on in the forest of Bohemia. Public scrutiny might be the only way
to bring this lock-step logging to a halt. It is abundantly clear
that the current leadership of the Bohemian Club is unwilling to
entertain any changes to the current regime."
(subsequent to this email Jock Hooper
did resign his membership from the Bohemian Club).