Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Time to take action to fight climate change

I recently attended a Wild Forest gathering at the SHO Farm in Huntington. On the way to the meeting I heard on NPR the latest news on the climate crisis we are in. The outlook is bleak but there is still hope that we can reduce the suffering that is unfolding. What is Vermont to do?
It is time to tax pollution and invest 100 percent of the raised funds into: 1. Permanent conservation of wild forests; 2. Solarizing our infrastructure; 3. Converting sawmill residues into state-of-the-art wood-clay insulation instead of burning them; and 4. Insulating our buildings.
There were many of the movers and shakers of Vermont’s ecological community at the meeting. UVM Professor Bill Keeton was one of them. Professor Keeton is New England’s modern version of Jerry Franklin. His research is showing that wild forests are the most resilient land cover in the face of climate crisis. Vermont would benefit from having more wild, self-willed forests.
This will take time to fully accomplish but we should/can begin now. The first step in that process is to add wild forest conservation to the list of approved silvicultural guides in Vermont. It is also time to define a “working forest” as the combination of worked forests and wild forests.
We can do this now by incorporating Vermont Conservation Design in our planning. We can also do this by dramatically expanding options for rewilding and adopting Optimal Conservation Practices for willing landowners with forests enrolled in Vermont’s Current Use Program.
There is no time to waste. Now is the time for tapping the transformational power of the climate crisis to conserve, solarize, convert and insulate more with wood, and tax pollution to fund “Vermont’s Green New Deal.”
After all, our name is Verde Monts!
David Brynn
Bristol

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