Regarding the topic of forestry work in Trois Pignons, works are temporarily suspended. For those interested Respectbleau has had an awesome fan who accepted to translate this beautiful letter published on saturday in a french newspaper.

Lien vers l’article original:

Save Les TroisPignons forest

By Jean-Christophe Rufin, WriterLucas Belvaux, Filmmaker and Jacques Laskar, astronomer, Director of Research at the CNRS, member of the « Académie des Sciences » — 4 January 2020 at 18:08

Fontainebleau forest, July 22. Photos Paul Rousteau

A citizen’s collective, with the backing of, among others, the writer Jean-Christophe Rufin and the film maker Lucas Belvaux, is fighting this deforestation operation near Fontainebleau, and is appealing to the new Director-general of the « Office national des forêts » (French national forestry authority). ​​Save Les Trois Pignons forest 

On January 6, you will officially take up the direction of the Office National des Forêts. At the same time as work is about to start on cutting down 120 hectares of Les Trois Pignons forest.

Do you know this extraordinary forest?

It doesn’t really matter either way.  What does matter is that every year, millions of people come to walk, climb, play in the sand with their baby, horse ride, rest, find peace and quiet, and happiness, free of charge, less than 100 kilometers from Paris.

What does matter, is that this forest is one of incredible beauty, dotted with rocks, a moss and lichen-covered chaos, and crossed by heather-carpeted valleys.  This is where dozens of children from suburban schools come to discover that there’s more to life than concrete, buildings, cars, tarmac, noise and fury.

What does matter, is that people come from all over Europe to climb its rocks, making the forest a showcase for France.

Les Trois Pignons is a piece of pure poetry, a place where the imaginary becomes a reality.  This place, Mr.Director-general, should be a sanctuary, dedicated to the beauty in the world.  And a consensus on the matter should be quite easy to achieve, since the economic profitability of the place is practically zero.

Because the earth is poor here.  What grows is frail, twisted, lopsided.   That’s what makes it beautiful.  Nothing is straight, nothing is flat.  The pathways meander around the boulders as if unsure of the direction they should take, and each turn reveals a new rock, a new grotto, a pond.

If some trees have nevertheless managed to become “remarkable”, it makes cutting them down all the more serious. 

Because these trees, all of them, will be sold at a price that would barely cover the cost of felling them.  Eight euros per stere, we are told.

It is easy to put a figure on the profit from this operation, but also to calculate the corresponding loss.  It is huge.

The value of this forest isn’t financial, it is poetic. It is social.

The 3 000 signatories of the petition that was published online a few days ago bear witness to the fact, with their tales of the history they have shared with this forest, overdecades.

And yet, on January 6, the day when you take up your function, this enchanted place will become a “wood factory”.

Gashes measuring several metres wide will be cut every 24 metres to allow heavy machinery through.  And in their rectilinear wake, not one tree will remain.  The clearance zones will represent more than 16 % of the total surface. No more trees.  Nor heather.   Nor mushrooms.  No more moss.   No more lichen.  On this veritable grid, there will only be ruts in the sand, flattened earth, and dead fallen branches.

To these surfaces, we should then add the 20 to 30% of trees that will be felled in the different plots.

In a year when your department counted between 100 and 200 hectares of dead trees due to drought, is it really necessary to add to that number?

You said in your recent hearing in the Senate, that a new ambition for the forest is possible. You also said that your understanding was that the government and head of state’s intentions were, in the coming months, to express an ambition for France’s forests, an ambition born out of the people’s expectations.

In a few months, it will be too late for Les Trois Pignonsforest.

Mr. Director-general, under what auspices to you intendto start your term of office?

There is still time to prevent this catastrophe.  To turn this exceptional forest into a laboratory of the forest of tomorrow, with a more harmonious relationship between forest users and those who work there.

Be the person who takes the time to stop, and who looks before acting.

Rare indeed are the places where beauty is embodied and alive.

Don’t let this one disappear.  It would be an irreparable loss.

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