October 4, 2007
Woodstock, VT – Forestry operations in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park will begin later this month as prescribed in the park’s forest management plan, completed in 2006. Three stands totaling 27 acres will be thinned to promote the growth of healthy trees. The French red pine stand, a small red pine stand near the Pogue, and a small Norway spruce plantation near Prosper Road will thinned by removing less vigorous trees, leaving the largest and healthiest to grow. This action will help to preserve the historic plantations, representative of evolution of forest management on this historical property.
The park is the birthplace and boyhood home of George Perkins Marsh. Marsh’s book Man and Nature is considered to be the one of the founding texts of the American conservation movement. Frederick Billings purchased the land from the Marsh family and established an estate that would serve as a model of wise stewardship in what has become the longest continuously managed forest in the United States. Billings’s granddaughter, Mary, and her husband, Laurance S. Rockefeller, sustained this stewardship approach and entrusted the National Park Service to continue forest management on the property.
National Park Service staff in consultation with Redstart Forestry of Corinth, Vermont developed the management prescription for the forestry work. The work will be conducted by Long View Forest Contracting, Inc. of Charlestown, New Hampshire.
Forest work will begin in mid-October and continue until completed or wet fall weather precludes operations. Work along Prosper Road will occur in early December or as soon as the ground is frozen. Temporary trail closures will be required for public safety, but alternative routes will be clearly marked.