To the Editor:
There is an important article in Friday’s New York Times about the follow-on effects of replanting forests with a monoculture. The article is, “We Thought We Were Saving the Planet but We Were Planting a Time Bomb.” The subject might be worth an editorial.
Apparently much of the State Forest was planted with red pines by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. It was the north edge of the red pine’s range, and many died, but are still standing or lying about in the forest.
Perhaps 20 years ago, there was a fire in the State Forest, north of our house on Oyster Pond Road. The wind was from the west, so it thankfully did not race south to the ocean. The fire did cross the road to the east of Oyster Pond Road by traveling in roots that went under the road, but the fire department was able to put them out, and then get the rest of the fire out. Sounded like a big, roaring jet raging back and forth in the forest. Every time the flames hit one of the standing dead red pines, the tree exploded like a bomb, with a big puff of red smoke. Quite memorable.
The Island has a serious potential fire danger in the center of the Island. It is talked about, but nothing meaningful has been done. If the forest is eventually replanted, it should not be another monoculture planting.