by Zack Porter
December 9, 2021
A little more than a year ago, a band of dedicated wild forest defenders gathered at a trailhead for the White Rocks National Recreation Area in the Green Mountain National Forest. It was a beautiful early winter morning: brilliant sunshine filtered through branches draped in snow from an overnight storm, and ice was just beginning to form on nearby creeks. The mood could have been somber given the reason for our visit, but despite the federal government's plans to clearcut the mature trees behind us, we drew inspiration from each other's commitment to saving this remarkable forest and countless others like it across the region.
In the words of a friend, "forests are having a moment" in 2021. Books like Suzanne Simard's Finding The Mother Tree and global movements like 30x30 and HalfEarth have thrust the importance of wild nature back into the spotlight. As the extinction rate increases and climate change's impacts become increasingly inescapable, we believe it's never been more critical to give wild places and wildlife a seat at the table. And with renewed global focus on natural solutions to the climate and extinction crises, the timing for recharged forest advocacy has never been better.
Standing Trees came to be because - quite simply - no other nonprofit organizations in Vermont and New Hampshire were standing up to the destruction of our public wildlands by state and federal agencies. As Edward Abbey once said, "The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders." That's where you come in.
Will you help us seize this unique moment for New England's wild places?
In just one year, Standing Trees has evolved from an all-volunteer operation with zero budget to a staffed organization with the capacity to be a leading voice for wildlands at both the state and federal levels. In 2021 we:
Waged campaigns in Vermont and New Hampshire to educate the public and decision-makers about the values of old forests
Pushed legislators and state and federal agencies to end logging on public lands
Advocated for reforms to Vermont's Use Value Appraisal Program
Worked with impacted communities to oppose biomass electricity power plants
Successfully lobbied Vermont's Climate Council to include targets for protecting and restoring wild forests in the new Vermont Climate Action Plan
With your help in the year ahead, we will expand our advocacy efforts and continue to grow the movement for New England's wild forests.
We could not have made it to this point without your enthusiasm. Now, to take your advocacy to the next level, we are asking if you will join our movement as a financial supporter. Your gift today ensures a wilder future for my daughter's generation, and generations still unborn.
Last but not least, please mark your calendar for Thursday, December 16th at 7pm for a special Standing Trees holiday celebration! You can RSVP here.
Thanks for Keeping It Wild,
Director, Standing Trees