Valley News – Forum, July 20: Don’t Log the National Forest

Don’t Cut the National Forest

The Green Mountain National Forest Service (GMNFS) plans to harvest over 10,000 acres, with 85% of those trees likely over 80 years old and 55% over 100 years old.

The GMNF is an important carbon sink, with carbon stocks increasing by 48% between 1990 and 2013. The forest is recovering from overharvesting and clearing for agriculture in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the trees are now 80+ years old.

GMNF accumulates carbon rapidly and could store two to four times as much carbon if allowed to age.

The GMNF is home to an incredible diversity of common and endangered plants and animals. It contains the largest roadless areas in Vermont, including a 16,000-acre roadless area likely to be mined as part of the Telephone Gap project. One of Vermont’s two remaining populations of pine marten are found here, as well as the threatened northern long-eared bat, which is considered an endangered species.

The Forest Service says this logging proposal is necessary to create early successional habitat and produce timber. Early successional habitat is created naturally by wind, ice, beavers and, rarely, fire. Old-growth forests with tall trees, abundant dead and felled wood, and natural gaps in the canopy create diverse habitat for native Vermont species, reduce the risk of downstream flooding, improve water quality, and sequester and store large amounts of carbon.

The sale is in the early planning stages. The public consultation process is expected to begin in the summer of 2022. The Forest Service plans to implement the project over four years to begin in the spring of 2023. The 2006 Green Mountain Forest Plan calls for a significant reduction in northern hardwoods up to 250 years or more. , going back in time to the recovery of this forest from the heavy logging of the 1800s. % of the entire national forest, targeting a considerable number of mature and old trees. Please visit for more information.

Laura Simon


Balint for Congress

Please join me in voting for Becca Balint for US Congress. Becca was an extraordinary leader of our Vermont State Senate, where she gained invaluable legislative skills and experience. She will represent us in Washington with passion, intelligence and great thoughtfulness. Early voting for the primary has begun or vote in person on August 9.

Larry Satcowitz


Disruptive Housing Plan

The Dartmouth administration is determined to build an apartment-style dormitory on Lyme Road. It will house 400 undergraduate students for 10 years while campus dormitories are renovated. It will then become housing for graduate students and eventually faculty.

There will be minimal on-site parking. Due to its location away from campus, it does not need to be built to campus standards. The remoteness of the campus means that a fleet of shuttles will transport 400 students day and night. Delivery vehicles and other service vehicles on Lyme Road will increase proportionately.

Additional housing in the Upper Valley is desperately needed. But Dartmouth has choices on where and how to build. Who benefits from this choice?

Some students will appreciate the ability to have apartment-style living, but probably not at the expense of waiting for buses several times a day when it’s minus -17. If this housing fills an important need, why is it only temporary? Dartmouth faculty – who genuinely care about the well-being of students – are so concerned about the negative consequences of Dartmouth’s transformation into a suburban school that they voted at their May meeting, by an overwhelming majority, to delay the project for further discussion. The administrators decided to go ahead anyway.

If more graduate housing options are needed, can they be postponed for 10 years while dorms are renovated? Professors, who are also feeling the housing shortage, usually have options as to where to accept an academic position. Living in a cramped converted dorm with grad students and no parking is sure not going to be an incentive to come to Hannover.

The addition of 400 inhabitants will, overnight, double the number of people living in the region. Neighbors have expressed serious concerns about traffic, safety and environmental impact. None of these issues were addressed.

Dartmouth administrators say this is the best location because it will be much cheaper than building on campus. It will also be convenient because a third party will manage the construction, rental and maintenance. Perhaps cheap and practical will allow administrators to focus their energies on more interesting projects. But it’s a shame that this is how Dartmouth makes long-term decisions that affect so many people.

Rebecca Kohn


Help women get care

With the recent Supreme Court decision ending a person’s right to an abortion, I am very concerned about how patients will access the essential health care they need. We know that restrictive abortion policies disproportionately harm low-income people, women of color, and other oppressed communities. If you want to do something to help people get the health care they need now, contribute to the National Network of Abortion Funds ( – you can also find your local fund here. These funds help patients cover their medical expenses and related needs, such as travel, accommodation, food and child care.

We may not be able to change restrictive laws tomorrow, but we can help patients get essential healthcare today.

Renee M. Johannensen

Windsor West

Get rid of plastic in July

Plastic waste and pollution have reached epic proportions. Billions of tons of plastic have been produced since its invention in the early 1900s. While useful, most has accumulated in landfills, landscapes, rivers and oceans. Most plastics do not enter the recycling stream. Single-use plastic is everywhere.

What can be done to stem the tide? Plastic Free July invites individuals to try to be plastic free during the month, or at least reduce their plastic consumption.

Here are some ideas on how we can each make a difference:

■Avoid foods wrapped in plastic.

■Use cloth or paper bags for shopping.

■Buy food in bulk.

■ Bring your own silverware, cups and plates to picnics.

■ Simply say “no” to plastic products (toys, supplies, packaging, etc.).

Take the challenge to reduce your plastic consumption or go plastic free in July at

Interested in more plastic-free action? The Ten Towns, Ten Actions campaign in New Hampshire is a group of volunteers who take action in their local communities to reduce plastic waste and pollution. See more at You can also find information on the Sustainable Lebanon Facebook page,, contact us at 603-252-1618 or email [email protected]

Jon Chaffee

President, Sustainable Lebanon

Let Dartmouth Build

The Upper Valley will benefit if Dartmouth succeeds in providing enough accommodation for its undergraduates, particularly if the proposed Lyme Road complex is a temporary solution while the residence halls on central campus are renovated. If this development eventually becomes graduate student and faculty housing, as planned, some pressure will be released on the local housing market.

Without dismissing the concerns of those who live close to the proposed development, I wonder if it is possible to balance our individual preferences with the sense that we are all affected by the housing crisis in one way or another. . Can we let Dartmouth do its part to increase housing options rather than slow everything down so as to delay improvements and increase construction costs?

Mary M. Children

western lebanon

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