July 9, 2008
Woodstock, VT – This year’s forestry operations at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park will begin later this month as prescribed in the park’s forest management plan. The 1905 white pine plantation will be thinned by removing unhealthy and less vigorous trees, leaving the largest and healthiest to grow. This stand has been thinned in every decade since the 1950s. Thinning will help to preserve this historic plantation, representative of the evolution of forest management at the park.
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. Wood harvested from this treatment will be the inspiration for the Vermont Wood Products design competition, “The Design with Pine Challenge.” Design submissions will be displayed at the park’s Forest Center during the 5th Annual Forest Festival and Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival September 27–28th, 2008.
Forest work will begin in mid-July and continue until completed. The total duration of the project is expected to be 6-8 weeks. Temporary trail closures will be required for public safety, but alternative routes will be clearly marked.