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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R. 300

House concurrent resolution congratulating the American Chestnut Foundation on its 25th anniversary

Offered by:  Representatives Morrissey of Bennington, Botzow of Pownal, Corcoran of Bennington, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Livingston of Manchester, Miller of Shaftsbury and Mook of Bennington

Offered by:  Senator Sears of Bennington District

Whereas, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the American chestnut tree in his poem “The Village Blacksmith,” and

Whereas, the American chestnut tree was once a common species on 200 million acres of eastern U.S. woodland, and at the height of its prominence was four billion strong, and

Whereas, here in Vermont, the American chestnut was a familiar presence in the forest of the Taconic Mountain Range in the west and the Connecticut River Valley to the east, and

Whereas, the American chestnut was a primary food source for a broad array of wildlife including bears and multiple species of birds, and

Whereas, rural communities relied on this tree’s harvested nuts as a cash crop to feed livestock, and

Whereas, the timber derived from the American chestnut is highly rot‑resistant and is ideal for many purposes including fence posts, rail ties, barn beams, and fine furniture, and

Whereas, the reign of the American chestnut in the U.S. eastern woodlands as a vital ecological and economic resource was ended during the first half of the 20th century when these trees succumbed to a lethal fungus known as chestnut blight, and

Whereas, in 1983, the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) was established in Bennington with a single mission—to restore this once mighty tree’s presence in the forested landscape, and

Whereas, the TACF’s classic backcross breeding program builds blight‑resistance in the tree while also maintaining the quality of its timber, and

Whereas, the organization’s network of volunteers and 15 state chapters, the most recently organized being the Vermont-New Hampshire Chapter chartered at the TACF’s national meeting held in Burlington this past October, serve as the army that for a quarter of a century has been working with demonstrated success to restore the American chestnut back to its former glory, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the general assembly congratulates the American Chestnut Foundation on its 25th anniversary and wishes it continued success in its important environmental mission, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the American Chestnut Foundation in Bennington.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont