The state of New Hampshire is currently working on a new management plan for the Pisgah Mountain State Forest in the southwest corner of the state.

There are several points that are causing concern – how many trails should be open to mountain bikes? Should a visitor center – built by volunteers – be closed, or used for something else?

I’m glad to read that people in the area are concerned enough to make their wishes and interests known – it’s pretty well outlined in today’s Brattleboro Reformer.

I am very concerned about proposed timber harvesting. Here in neighboring Massachusetts we’ve had a succession of bad experiences with logging on public lands.

Too often officials and logging interests introduce the idea under the guise of forest management, necessary for a “healthy” forest. They don’t give a hoot about a so-called “healthy” forest – what they want is the valuable timber. Over and over again, here in Massachusetts, we hear assurances that care will be taken. Only necessary thinning and culling will take place, etc. Then, when it’s done, it’s too late.

In Chesterfield, Mass., an ecologically sensitive and legally protected area was clear-cut – “by mistake.” Oops was about all they could say. The loggers got the trees and money they wanted, and that’s all that mattered.

Parts of the Quabbin were supposed to be selectively cut, instead acre upon acre were clear-cut, with stumps and debris strewn all over. This is “healthy?”

Let’s hope they take a long, careful look at this, and ask just who really wants this timber harvesting done.

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