Assertions in essay are absurd

GUILFORD — Caitlin Adair may be “wise in the arts of gardening, homemade food, and medicine,” as her bio states, but her version of the silvicultural history of the Vermont forest is absurd.

Her statement that Vermont was ”clear cut” once, pursuant to the whim of King George III for ”ships, masts, and to create empire” bears less resemblance to the facts than a Superman comic.

Anyone familiar with the saga of the King's Pines knows how very few of the scattered Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) met the stringent standards required to be marked as potential mast trees to begin with; how monumentally slow and difficult it was to fell these tall, straight trees without snapping them in two; and then how challenging to wrestle even one of them up and down hills through the roadless wilderness behind multiple teams of groaning oxen to a river sizable enough to carry them to port and the point of sale. One by one.

No person experienced with woods work can hear without laughing the idea that our entire state, covered then, as now, with dozens of species of coniferous and deciduous trees in every size category, typical of the uneven aged forests of that time, was somehow methodically clearcut. Such an addlepated undertaking would have bankrupted the English sovereign in short order.

Ms. Adair then takes another, deeper, dive into the annals of fantasy history with her implication that “our streams [then] dried up” because of the imaginary clearcut she recalls.

The only danger in printing this kind of nonsense in a ”news” paper is the very real one that someone young, impressionable, or otherwise intellectually vulnerable will read it, and because of the context, believe it's true.

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