August 6, 2009
Woodstock, VT – This year’s forestry operations at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park will begin later this month. Three pine plantations totaling 25 acres will be thinned by removing smaller trees and leaving the largest and healthiest to grow. Thinning will help to preserve these historic plantations, representative of the evolution of forest management at the park. These plantations are red and Scot’s pine established in 1917 and a white pine plantation from the 1930’s. All three plantations are adjacent to Prosper Road.
Frederick Billings purchased the land from the Marsh family in 1869 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 prescriptions for the forestry work in accordance with the forest management plan completed in 2006. The work will be conducted by Long View Forest Contracting, Inc. of Westminster, Vermont. Some of the wood produced from the thinning will be used to build a solar kiln in the park and to heat the park’s Forest Center. Logs harvested during this thinning will be Forest Stewardship Council certified (SW-FM/COC 001606). FSC certification encourages the highest standards of woodland management through credible, independent evaluation and verification of exemplary forestry practices.
Forest work will begin in mid-August 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 alternate routes will be clearly marked. The Prosper Road parking lot will be temporarily used for log yarding and public parking will be limited. Visitors with horses should use other parking areas.
For further information, please contact Kyle Jones, Ecologist at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, at (802) 457-3368.