Interview with David Brynn: VFF Executive Director and Conservation Forester
Before vegetation was planted, what steps were taken to remediate the sand left behind from over harvesting?
From what I recall, no soil amendments were added. Drainage was installed in places. One example of a contour swale can still be seen in the northern reaches of the white pine plantation. The swale was built across the contour at 2 to 3% grade. It still works!
Besides the fact that the land was traded for the land at the airport, what value was seen from the Jericho land?
My answer is speculative. But the idea of restoration was well served by Jericho. As a defunct farm, it was not unlike much of Vermont!
Was there any public influence on how the land was to be used? Was the re-wilding of the land supported?
I do not believe that re-wilding was a concept known to the conservation community at that time. I gather that the primary motivation was to convert wastelands into productive forests again. The early projects were heavily influenced by that European forestry mindset of ‘sustained yield’.
How was the planting of vegetation structured? Was the main goal planting diversity of naturally occurring primary succession species?
No. Black locust was an angiosperm that was planted early on and that was not native. Blocks of land were planted with one species. I suspect the idea was to evaluate the effectiveness of the species in getting well established on the degraded sites. Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, white pine, Japanese larch, and red pine were all planted as monocultures.
Interview with Ralph Tursini Instructor, Green Forestry Education Initiative
How were excess nutrient loads, or any existing soil pollution dealt with on the sites being reforested.
There was no amending of the soil once the University of Vermont owned the property. Trees were planted and natural processes are taking control of the remediation process.