It’s been a long, but wonderful day spent at the Statehouse sharing some of my worries and hopes for our forest products economy.
It’s in trouble folks. I watched leaders in our state interchange the words “woodchips” and “firewood”, not understand Act 250 basics, and one senator seemed absolutely unwilling to support any of our rural heritage...accusing loggers across the board of being dishonest, terrible for the environment, and somehow smelly. I’m not sure if he was referring to fumes from chainsaws or what, but it was another example of socially accepted discrimination of blue collar Vermonters.
But, there were also some very heartwarming, supportive legislators that are trying to understand our struggle, and really an industry that’s easily misunderstood and vilified. One senator quickly made the connection that hardworking Vermont logging families aren’t very different from his hardworking farming family roots in Virginia. We have some awesome folks who get it at the Forest, Parks, and Rec dept., Farm Bureau, and Rural Vermont which helps. If you support logging in Vermont please take 2 minutes and send an email to your legislators.
Tonight I hope I sleep well and dream of tall stands of timber, Mark gracefully felling trees, James skidding them to the landing on a frozen trail, and me splitting wood, loading up a cord in our red dump truck. Simply our family working together to bring in firewood just like many who’ve come before us.