It appears that Sean Parker, the billionaire who was recently married in a Big Sur redwood forest, might not be the forest trasher that he has been depicted as. Parker sent a letter of explanation in reaction to the original article written by Alexis Madrigal for The Atlantic, which paints a very different picture than the California Coastal Commission’s report. It is true that Parker spent around $10 million to prepare the Big Sur site for his wedding, but what wasn’t reported is that the internet mogul donated an addition $2.5 million to restore the somewhat crumbling private campground after his nuptials were over.
Parker’s lengthy response tells of some major details that the CCC had left out of their report, including that he enlisted Save the Redwoods League to help him find a suitable place for the event. First, Parker brings up the important point that the Ventana campground is not a public or national forest, but instead a private for-profit place that is run by a hotel. Parker also said that some of the Ventana campground had been previously paved over with unnatural asphalt, perhaps as a lot for RV, which he removed or restored to the natural forest brush that should line the forest floor.
He goes on to give detailed accounts of the precautions his crew took to ensure safety of the forest, like fabric liners, bringing in potted plants so as to not disturb the natural growth and even bringing in the Save the Redwoods League’s Director of Science to evaluate the site. Finally, the $2.5 million paid to restore the site was not a fine, but instead a donation, decided between the CCC and Parker (who is already a donor to the Save the Redwoods League).
Although it may be Parker’s word against the CCC’s (who declined comment), the ex-Facebook president’s defense is convincing, and he may release pictures that show the improvements made to the grounds after his dream wedding.
Via The Atlantic