For this initial blog post, I wanted to share the motivations behind starting this blog and the reasons I have for wanting to further explore issues of land use. As I mentioned in my “About Me” paragraph, I was raised on a small-scale, draft-powered, largely self-sustaining farm in rural New Hampshire. My family grew multiple vegetable gardens every summer and ate, canned, or froze the produce for immediate or future use. We plowed our fields, harrowed gardens, transported firewood and timber, and spread manure with teams of oxen that we trained for farm work and 4-H competitions. We cut all of our own firewood and heated our house in the winter with wood (as well as oil). We kept sheep for wool, chickens for eggs, and rabbits for no particular reason whatsoever. In a lot of ways, we exemplified a bygone era of agriculture that retained the natural rhythms of the land and respected the heritage of the New England hills in which we lived. It was an incredible way to grow up, to be sure.
Try as I might, I have realized over the past few years that agriculture and the land, particularly forests, will always be a part of my life. I will never be able to get away from my passion for preserving the past through mindful action in the present. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia of spending hours logging in the woods with my brother and a team of oxen or the smell of birch emanating from a beam as I split it for firewood with an ax. Or maybe it’s the wonder and awe I feel when I walk along a mountain ridge and see the forest sweeping away beneath me or when I stand silently in the summer forest with a soft rain stilling the air into impenetrable silence. Or maybe still it is the commitment to land conservation passed down to me by my grandparents and great-grandparents.
My unique upbringing, my interest in the law, and my passion for rural and agricultural land conservation are thus a few of the primary factors that are motivating me to share my thoughts on these topics. I sincerely hope the information presented here can be helpful and thought-provoking in some capacity, and I welcome your thoughts and comments along the way. Enjoy!