About the Guardian and Whale Forest Cocreator

Marcus von Skepsgardh
Environmental Artist and Earth Guardian

In 1984 Marcus immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany and began his career working in the wood and veneer industry. In 1987 he started a business in the San Francisco Bay Area, marketing decorative wood veneer for high-end design and building projects. In 1995, this company merged with an associated firm and became known as Architectural Forest Enterprises. The company pioneered the use of recycled and non-toxic materials and processes in the wood products industry, producing high-end veneer, furniture, and paneling, and recently completing the largest certified Cherry architectural paneling installation in the world at the new San Francisco International Airport Terminal. In 1999, after returning from a vision quest in the Himalayas, India, Marcus sold his shares in A.F.E. and started working full time at P.A.L. Foundation.

In addition to being a businessman, Marcus is a multi-faceted eco-pioneer and visionary, artist, world traveler, horseman (guardian of a small herd of endangered Spanish Colonial horses - the breed ridden by the Native American Indians). He is currently working on the screenplay for a spiritual science fiction movie called "Flow."

An adventurer, Marcus has hunted for a sunken galleon from Christopher Columbus (1986), served as a paratrooper in the German military (1979-1980), received a degree in restaurant management in Europe (1976), designed and built his own eco-home on an 81-acre ranch in Half Moon Bay, California (1998) and traveled throughout Africa, India, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, and the United States on extensive cultural learning and adventure tours. In 2004 he moved on to Sheep Rock Ranch in the Shasta Valley and built an eco-home.

In 1995, Marcus and his former artistic associate, Shane, founded a non-profit organization called The PAL Foundation. Both talented wood sculptors, they were dedicated to the preservation of Mother Earth and all of Her creatures. Out of this collaborative effort, the family of wood sculptures presented on this website was born.

In 1999, the PAL Foundation established the Tree Recycling Yard, an innovative and environmental conservation project, designed to promote the highest-end uses of naturally-fallen urban trees through the manufacture and sale of recycled lumber and other recycled products to contractors, wood workers, architects, builders, lumber companies, businesses, and to individuals for their respective projects. By diverting trees from landfill and creating valuable recycled lumber and other products, the organization has saved tens of thousands of trees from being cut down from virgin forests.

Also in 1999, Marcus resigned from his corporate duties, and dedicated his full time and efforts to serving as Executive Director and Chairman of the PAL Foundation, developing the Tree Recycling Yard, and creating artwork. In this capacity, Marcus has organized a series of high-profile events targeting the general public for environmental education through interactive art exhibits; has generated funding and support from several county, government, and private agencies and foundations; and has diverted over 6000 tons of logs from the Bay Area landfills.

The Tree Recycling Yard has significant potential for replication on a national scale and Marcus would like to teach other individuals with a shared vision to establish similar programs nationwide, ultimately leading to a more sustainable global community to be passed on to future generations.

Marcus lives with his animal companions in the Northern California wilderness on 700 acres close to Mount Shasta. He serves on the advisory council for the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, is working to catalyze the production of a movie serving humanity and planet earth, developing and implementing designs for sustainable and off the grid Eco homes, and tending to sustainable land projects.

Marcus is available for commissioned art work including distinctive executive desks and custom totem poles. Please visit current projects for more information.

Contact Marcus about leases, installations or exhibitions of his large-scale wooden art sculptures.