LYNDA VIDAS: Expresses concerns about Conservation District’s tree sale

TO THE EDITOR:

This is in response to the News Advocate’s March 30 article, “Conservation district’s tree sale an annual tradition.”

I have several concerns regarding this article. First of all, the article did state that there is less of a need for reforestation because this has become less important since the clear cutting of the state.

However, as I drive around my county, I find many people clear cutting large tracts of land. I know personally of one tract that is clear cutting over 300 acres. I also see and hear of people cutting their trees to reduce property taxes. People are also cutting all mature trees prior to selling the land.

We are not reaching these people. One of the major goals of the Conservation District is to address these issues. I see no outreach to these people. We have a huge need to reach out to these people to I our beautiful environment. This practice of clear cutting seems to be running rampant.

The Manistee Conservation District has a forester attached to the district, Josh Shields. He is a tremendous worker and a real asset to the district. However, he is not an employee of the district. He represents the Forestry Assistance Program in two counties and is housed in Manistee.

This outreach is the responsibility of the Conservation District. These concerns are laid out clearly in the articles regarding all Michigan Conservation Districts.

My second concern is that there is no guarantee on the trees and shrubs. I regularly buy trees and shrubs from the district but will not do so this year. I bought 40 shrubs last year and all but one thrived. I know how to plant shrubs and trees. I am a certified naturalist and a Master Gardener. When I called the Conservation District, I was told that there is no guarantee or credit for plants that fail to thrive.

All nursies, that I know of, have some form of credit or guarantee. But no so in our Conservation District.

Third, I know that many people wish that fruit trees be offered again and there is also concern about the high cost of native plants.

Lynda Vidas

Manistee

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