Monday, March 31, 2008

Saving The Woodlands

Feather News

Tomorrow, the clearing of land for the future government building-community center is set to begin.

In addition to heeding the advice of our elders, it may be worth taking a look back in time at some of the more constructive attempts to save woodlands in Connecticut.

In The History of New London, Connecticut, author Francis Manwaring Caulkins writes that in the year 1651, the settlers in New London laid down regulations that displayed "a prudent forethought rather uncommon in the first settlers of a well forested country. The first has a bearing upon the wanton havoc of timber, and the other on the preservation of trees for shade around the borders of the highways and fields."

"The fathers of the town were solicitous, from the first, to prevent an indiscriminate waste of the woodlands. Ordinances to preserve the timber upon the commons, and all trees that were desirable to be left for shade in the streets and highways, and in the broader commons, may be traced downward into the next century. The townsmen were directed to mark all such trees with marking irons with the letter S, and a fine was imposed for cutting them down. In their eagerness to clear the country and open to themselves a broader scope to the sun and stars, they were not unmindful of beauty, propriety and the claims of prosperity - arguments which have had less weight with some succeeding generations."