News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

That’s right – Happy Birthday to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. It celebrated the centennial of its founding recently, said the Rutland Herald. The state’s first forest, purchased in 1909 in Plainfield, was named in honor of L.R. Jones, a botany professor at the University of Vermont. Jones is credited with creating the state’s first tree nursery in addition to his academic work. The tract was purchased as a “demonstration site for multiple-use management,” said the Division of Forestry. Years of deforesting land to open farm land and to feed the timber industry afforded the site the opportunity to show management practices for raising timber and protecting water sources. Forestry in Vermont has been around since 1738-39 when the first sawmill was built in Westminster. Today the industry contributes more than 6,000 jobs and $1 billion to the state’s economic activity. So next time you’re hiking in the woods, take a moment to say Happy Birthday to your silent wooden partners.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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