January 21, 2008

Chopping old growth trees in Vermont and across the USA

clipped from www.nytimes.com
I love Vermont and this story over the weekend made me sad. My family is originally from Maine and the stories I read from family journals tell tales of the incredible wilderness and beauty more than 100 years ago. I think a trip east is in my near future, how about you?

The trees around George and Agnes Spaulding’s 170-year-old farmhouse here are as good as money in the bank, many being old-growth maples that are valuable not only for the quality of their wood but also for the sweet sap that the couple boils into syrup each spring.

Having been born on the farm, Mr. Spaulding, 78, loves the trees the way only someone who grew up with them could. But beyond that, he counts on the syrup sales to supplement the family income, which comes mainly from the twice-a-day milking of three dozen cows.

So when a neighboring farmer crossed onto the Spauldings’ land and chopped down 30 or so of their best trees, the couple was devastated.

“There were a lot of nights spent worrying, and when I’d get up, I’d just see bare stumps”

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