"THE OLD FOREST"
From An Idea By:
A Forest Ranger, an American
Indian, and a Poacher, all live and work in the same area of the north
woods. All three men love the woods and subsist because of them.
The Poacher kills bears for a living, selling the internal organs to
Korean merchants. The Indian, living on a neighboring reservation,
is an environmental terrorist: sabotaging logging and surveying equipment
he is an expert marksman and shoots out the equipment from great distances.
The Ranger's job is to stop both the Indian and the Poacher. To
the Ranger's chagrin and embarrassment he also supervises the logging
operation in his neck of the National Forest. Also, the Ranger
and the Indian are good friends. Worse still, the Ranger completely
agrees with what the Indian stands for, just not his methods.
The Poacher's favorite spot
to hunt bear is in The Old Forest, a section of the Indian reservation
bordering the tract of National Forest that's being logged. The
Old Forest is the ancient Indian burial ground with old markings on
the trees. The bears come there because of the stream that runs
through it, that's where the Salmon spawn. The Poacher kills a
bear and just as he's skinning it he finds a knife at his throat the
Indian's knife. The Indian informs him to stop hunting in The
Old Forest anymore, or else! The Poacher actually pleads that
the Indian let him take the bear's organs with him he's got five kids
and needs the money to feed them. No luck. The Poacher leaves
empty handed. The Indian takes as much of the bear meat as he
can carry back to the reservation where there is little else but poverty,
hunger and despair. Soon thereafter the Ranger comes upon the
remains of the bear carcass and is sickened he doesn't know who the
poacher is, but someday he'll get him.
The Indian reservation council
has already sold off the water rights to the stream in The Old Forest.
Very soon they will be building a hydro electric damn in the northern
part of the reservation. The council now wants to sell off The
Old Forest itself to the same Developer who bought the water rights
and is also logging the National Forest. The Indian is flatly
against this, but no one listens; they need the money or they will starve
in the coming winter.
The only access to the spot
where the damn will be built is an old, steel bridge. The Indian
sneaks up to the bridge at night with a knapsack full of dynamite.
As he's preparing the charges, the bridge blows up. He sees the
Poacher fleeing the scene. The Poacher sees the Indian.
When the Indian nears the reservation he finds State Police surrounding
his house the Poacher set him up. The Indian takes off into the
woods, away from the cops, and after the Poacher.
The furious Developer, sabotaged
many times in the past by the Indian, now screwed to the tune of millions
with the destruction of the bridge, berates the Ranger for not looking
after his interests. He then hires his own "hunters"
to go into the woods after the Indian and kill him.
The Ranger heads out into
the woods he knows so well to get to the Indian before the "hunters"
The Indian is stalking the
Poacher who set him up. The Poacher is trying to kill the Indian
because the Indian is trying to kill him.
Behind the three of them are
the "hunters" led by the Developer.
The chase, full of booby traps
and ambushes, leads them to a mountain. Only our three woodsmen
have the ability to scale it and make it to the other side. The
Developer and his "hunters" give up and go back.
From here on out, as the chase
goes into its second and third day, it is just the three men and their
abilities to live in the woods, hunt and stalk.
The Poacher hides on the side
of a wooded hill and awaits the approach of the Indian. As the
Indian nears a shot rings out from the hillside, striking him in the
shoulder knocking him down. He drops to the ground behind a fallen
tree. Bullets crash in all around. He detaches the scope
from his rifle and watches the wooded hillside. Finally, he sees
the glare of something reflective. The Indian fires at the glare
and a moment later the Poacher's body comes rolling down the hill out
of the woods. His rifle has chrome plating. The Poacher
is bleeding profusely from the gut and is sure to die. The Indian
asks the Poacher why he blew up the bridge? It's so the Salmon
will come and so will the bears. The Indian now knows that he
can never go back he's a killer. He takes off further into the
The Ranger arrives at the
downed Poacher, still alive, but clearly dying. The Ranger tells
him to hold on, the Developer and his men should be there soon.
The Ranger continues the chase. A few moments later the Poacher
hears footsteps in the leaves thank God, it's the Developer's men, he'll
be saved. He cranes his head around to see a pack of ferocious,
starving wolves coming for him.
The Ranger tracks the blood
of the Indian deeper and deeper into the woods as the clouds grow thick
and dark. Soon it is snowing.
The Indian is going as fast
as he can and losing a lot of blood. He suddenly comes out into
an immense clear cut an area totally logged out; nothing but stumps
as far as the eye can see. No cover. The Indian hears the
Ranger approaching from behind, fires a shot and takes off running through
The Ranger has been hit in
the thigh. Nevertheless, he keeps coming into the clear cut.
More shots ring out. The Indian has stationed himself behind a
stump. The Ranger quickly drops behind another stump. It's
now a stand off; nowhere to go. The Ranger hollers out for the
Indian to just give up, he'll do everything he can so that he'll be
treated fairly. The Indian says no, he'll never go back.
He's now a killer. He tells the Ranger to just leave and he'll
never see him again. The Ranger says no, he can't do that.
It's his duty to bring him back. So they keep each other pinned
down as the snow floats from the sky and the evening nears.
Finally, the Indian has a
stick of dynamite out, has inserted a fuse, has a lighter ready, but
doesn't light it. He tries but can't. He pulls out the fuse
and fires another shot.
The bullet hits the Ranger's
stump blasting off wood chunks. The Ranger pulls his .38 pistol
from his belt. He cocks it and sets it on the stump. He
then pops the clip from his rifle, quietly pulls the bolt and removes
the bullets. He considers what he's doing for a second, shrugs,
then picks up the pistol and aims it, his hand resting on top of the
stump. He raises the rifle in the air with his other hand and
dry fires. The click is loud in the still night.
The Indian pops his head up
over his stump to see what's happening. The Ranger fires the pistol
and plugs the Indian between the eyes. The Ranger goes over to
the dead Indian and sadly sits with him, his friend, as night comes
and snow falls from the sky.
The animals of the forest
burrow into their holes, birds fly into hollow trees, beaver swim into
their dams . . .
. . . A beautiful dawn comes
to the snowy forest. The animals come out of their holes, the
birds fly from their nests.
A helicopter descends from
the blue sky and lands in the clear cut. Inside is the Developer
and a few of his men. They cautiously walk through the stumps
and come upon the Indian's dead body, a bullet hole between his eyes,
a stream of frozen blood running to the ground.
They then find more blood
behind another stump and a blood trail leading out of the clear cut,
back into the forest. They follow it to a lean to made of pine
branches. They can see the Ranger's boots protruding from the
end of the lean to. They pull back the branches revealing the
Ranger frozen solid, dead, his skin bluish white.
The Developer and his men
get back into the helicopter and rise into the air. Our view of
the clear cut, endless rows of stumps, grows wider and wider until we
see that it goes on for miles in every direction.
We then see the trees of The
Old Forest with their ancient markings. One by one they crash
to the ground as loggers cut them down. Titles appear telling
how much of America's old forests have been cut down 95% of them and
they can't be replaced. The time to stop cutting them down is