David Paul Bayles


Two years after a neighbor clearcut a portion of the forest my wife and I live in, a fierce windstorm roared across the open clearcut and ripped apart, uprooted and toppled 120 of our trees. A few of them hit our house.

Foresters call it a catastrophic windthrow.

After repairing our home and re-planting our land, I began to photograph the tree farms that surround us. There are three distinct phases, beginning with the clearcut. Next is the burn phase where limbs are piled high and burned in the fall. In late winter and early spring new seedlings are planted.

In forty years, when the Douglas firs just begin to feel like a forest, they are felled and the cycle begins again.

From certain vistas all three phases can be viewed in a rolling mosaic of industrial efficiency and productivity.

— David Paul Bayles, Corvallis, Oregon, USA