Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TREE-MENDOUS


As part of their Silvics and Silviculture class sophomore forestry students recently visited Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to study old growth hardwood forests. In 1936, the Forest Service bought 13,055 acres for the lofty sum of $28 per acre (at a time when most land was going for $3 to $4 per acre). While most of the surrounding land was logged, the area around Little Santeetlah Creek was spared -- protected by a recognition of its uniqueness and the drastic drop of lumber prices after the "crash of '29."
Veterans of the Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to serve as a living memorial to Joyce Kilmer, who was killed in action during World War I. Although Kilmer was both a soldier and a poet, he is most remembered for his poetry about common, beautiful things in nature. Kilmer's best known poem is "Trees" (From: http://www.main.nc.us/graham/hiking/joycekil.html).
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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