Good Job Wreaking Sauron-Like Destruction on an Ancient Redwood Forest, Sean Parker

A natural wonder wasn't good enough for the Parkers, I guess.

Tacky as hell, too. (CCC report)

Tacky as hell, too. (CCC report)

So it turns out Sean Parker and Alexandra Lenas’s John William Waterhouse wonderland wedding has an ugly side, one more befitting (to mix fantasy series metaphors) the evil, havoc-wreaking Sauron than the classy elven queen Galadriel. The millions of dollars worth of illegal construction for the affair, it turns out, basically trashed an ecologically sensitive area in a redwood forest, which even a second-grade child could warn you against tampering with.

Magical, my ass.

The California Coastal Commission’s report, first published by the Atlantic, has details:

“Existing roads and campsites were graded and contoured to create the appearance of ruins. Stone gateways and walls were constructed. Staircases were crafted around existing habitat and redwood trees. An artificial pond was dug and installed. A stone bridge over the pond was constructed. Several elevated platforms were created, some adjacent to Post Creek (Exhibit 9). Over 100 potted trees and plants were partially planted within the existing road beds and campsites, and lighting was installed in the redwood forest.”

Incidentally, you know what historians call fake ruins, which were a big fad in the 19th century? Follies.

Apparently the developers responsible for this charming display of nouveau riche geek gaucheness devoted precisely zero energy to mitigating the environmental impacts of this. There were few erosion-control measures to keep dirt out of the nearby creek, which is a habitat for endangered steelhead trout. Those big dumb fake ruins were built around and right up against the redwoods.

Plus, “failure to provide adequate development buffers from redwood trees can negatively impact the underground lignotubers by which redwoods clonally reproduce, thus impeding propagation.” It’s real bad for the trees, in other words.

The Atlantic is pretty disgusted, noting that, “The old-guard Midwestern transplants like Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Bill Davidow — not to mention a lot of newbie social entrepreneurs — would be ashamed of this kind of grandstanding, and rightly so.” But hey, what more can you expect from someone who got famous before he could legally drink by making it really, really easy for teenagers to steal music?

By the way, this is what the site originally looked like:

(CCC report)

(CCC report)