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Neil Young Takes On Illegal Logging

Neil Young
Tristan Fewings, Getty Images

After raising an impressive amount of support for his Pono hi-def music player through Kickstarter, Neil Young definitely understands the power of crowdfunding — and he recently returned to the site to help the creators of an ambitious new product aimed at curbing illegal rainforest logging.

ABC News Radio reports that Young threw his support behind the ‘Rainforest Connection’ initiative, which seeks to retrofit old cellphones with solar cells, hang the devices in trees, and use their signals to catch loggers before they can do their damage. “The devices will be able to pick up the sounds of vehicles, chainsaws, distressed animals and other telltale signs of unlawful activity,” ABC says, “and thereby notify authorities of the location of the improprieties.”

Appearing in a video supporting the campaign, Young told viewers, “Climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century. There are a lot of factors, but forests are one of the big ones. There is a technology that is a connection between the rainforest and you. This technology enables the forest to talk to the world. When the forest is threatened, the forest can speak — and you can hear it.”

Young didn’t stop there, either; he also donated a handful of limited edition Pono players to the campaign, which recently ended after exceeding its $100,000 goal. Donors at the $1,500-and-above level had the option of selecting a “‘Rainforest Connection’ PonoPlayer in chrome, laser engraved with the Rainforest Connection logo & certified as one of only 10 such PonoPlayers ever produced.” (Only six were claimed.)

Although the campaign has closed, you can still donate — and even if you can’t get a special Pono for your investment, Young is still offering hi-def downloads of “the sounds of the rainforest” to backers who kick in $10 or more. “Trust me when I say you’ve never heard anything quite like this,” he promised in a note to followers. “And just wait until you hear it on your Pono!”

Next: Top 10 Neil Young Love Songs

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