Forests are communities, a rich mixture of organisms engaged in relationships and interactions with each other, built around the living architecture of trees.
To understand how to take care of forests, we first need to understand what they are and how they work. Within forests, one of the incredible processes that make forests work—and one that we need to learn to accept—is tree death.
To understand how to take care of forests, we first need to understand what they are and how they work. While most peoples’ understanding of them starts and ends with trees, forests are complex, dynamic communities comprised of many different organisms and the processes that affect them.
Many of us have had the experience of walking through the woods when suddenly the raucous sounds and green-tinted light of a deciduous forest become dark and quiet. If this has happened to you, you have already had the unique experience of entering a hemlock forest.
On March 14, the Charlotte Energy Committee co-sponsored a walk in the Hinesburg Town Forest with a discussion by the Chittenden County Forester Ethan Tapper (fourth from right in this photo), and Dr. Tony D’Amato of the University of Vermont.
The 864-acre Hinesburg Town Forest (HTF) is many things. It is a historically important property, one of Vermont’s early town forests, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a site for demonstration and education, with a history of high-quality forest management.
Alice Outwater (the younger daughter of Alice Outwater senior) has published her fourth book, Wild at Heart (St. Martin’s Press). In it she looks at the interplay between the natural world that she calls “wildness” and what human nature has done to modify it in order to make parts of it what she terms “wilderness.” We have taken what is wild, exploited it for our benefit, and now, she says, we need to redeem what we have done.
By now, most people know I’m a bit of an environmentalist. I love the outdoors—hiking in the Adirondacks, snowboarding and snowshoeing in Vermont’s mountains, ice skating on frozen lakes and ponds in the North Country.
The Vermont Land Trust has a long history of conserving Vermont’s most productive working lands. As VLT’s president, I’m proud of that track record, but I’m also concerned about our farm and forest economy. These lands and the industries that rely on them are facing real challenges today, with bigger challenges on the horizon.
Throughout Vermont, people interested in our environment are increasingly concerned about the health of our forests and the current development trends. People come here to visit or to settle down, largely because of the magnificent mountains and pastoral scenes that surround our highways and towns, and, of course, because of the people.