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NO. R-301. JOINT RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MERCK FOREST AND FARMLAND FOUNDATION.

(J.R.H. 240)

Offered by: Representative Waite of Pawlet.

Whereas, the sustainable use of land resources is important to the ongoing economic, ecological and spiritual well-being of Vermonters, and

Whereas, research into sustainable agriculture, forestry and other land uses must be conducted, and

Whereas, Vermont Forest & Farm Land Foundation, Inc., was founded in 1950 for the purpose of “conducting studies, experiments and demonstrations designed to improve the forests and farmland of Vermont” and “to make more productive and profitable forestry and farming in Vermont,” and

Whereas, Vermont Forest & Farm Land Foundation’s initial mission included “disseminating information gained from such study and experimentation … among the people of Vermont,” and

Whereas, the name of Vermont Forest & Farm Land Foundation was changed to Merck Forest Foundation in honor of founder George Merck upon his death in 1957, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Foundation fostered relationships with political and environmental leaders, including former Governor Joseph Johnson, former U.S. Senator George D. Aiken, former Vermont state Senators Ferdinand Bongartz and Harvey Carter, U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders and international conservationist Carl Shank, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Foundation has conscientiously fulfilled its mission of research into sustainable agriculture and forestry practices, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Foundation has carefully managed its principal piece of property located in Rupert, Vermont, known as the Merck Forest & Farmland Center, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Center has grown from its initial grant of 2,285 acres to 3,150 acres in the heart of the Taconic Mountain Range in southwestern Vermont, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Center provides 28 miles of trails, mountain peaks, awesome views, ponds and streams for the public to explore for free every day of the year, and

Whereas, Merck Forest & Farmland Center has served as an exemplary model of land stewardship, and

Whereas, Merck Forest & Farmland Center has provided land stewardship education for thousands of land use professionals, land owners, adults and children, and

Whereas, Merck Forest & Farmland Center continues to provide significant land-based education and recreation opportunities for over 10,000 visitors each year, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Foundation continues to champion its mission of sustainable land use research and education, and

Whereas, Merck Forest Foundation now embarks on its second half century, prepared to continue its role as a leader in sustainable land use practices, research and education, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is pleased to congratulate the Board of Trustees of Merck Forest Foundation on the occasion of this fine organization’s 50th anniversary and extends best wishes for future success, and be it further

Resolved: That Saturday, August 19, 2000 is recognized as Merck Forest & Farmland Center Day, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Alan Calfee, President of the Merck Forest & Farmland Foundation Board of Trustees, in Rupert.