Joanne and I took a walk this morning, through Gerry Playground and down to Stramski Beach.
Everything was grey, mucky and muddy.... lots of downed and decayed tree branches on the ground due to the harsh winter. It is a deteriorated and ugly scene.
In the pre-Columbian era, our predecessors on this land, the Native Americans, whom I prefer to call in the politically incorrect manner as Indians.... they used to burn the forests every year. Once in Spring and once in fall.
The first Europeans who ventured to these shores were astounded by the countryside. They marveled at the forests populated by large trees with room to drive a large carriage though with no problem. This was due to the seasonal burn treatment that the Indians had practiced for milleniums. It made for a more suitable habitat for deer and other wild game as well.
It flies in the face of our Smokey the Bear practices of preventing forest fires, and also does not meet the preferred narrative of the Noble Savage, who lived in harmony with nature and did not alter the Environment.
Nevertheless, it is the truth, and the wild places in Marblehead look like forest slums with the dense undergrowth, mutilated trees and dead wood that is the most distinguishable characteristic of our forest conservation areas.
So I have been harboring a MOAM proposal now for a number of years, but have yet to articulate it until this moment....
We should restore our "wild" areas to the way our predecessors experienced them.... not by burning, but by mulching the underbrush and harvesting the deadwood for garden mulch and firewood.
The Indians did not have the advantage of our modern machinery like chain saws and power mulchers.... so they resorted to burning. We could achieve the same state without the hazard of extensive smoke and air pollution.
- The Wild Areas would be more aesthetic.
- More accessible to all.
- More Hospital for wildlife.
- Yield firewood for Energy.
- Yield mulch for gardens and fertilization.
In my job for Nanepashemet Telecom, I travel the backroads all though New England. The presence of stone walls in the woodlands details a far different landscape that used to prevail here. My MOAM contention is that we have let this landscape deteriorate and should return to the practice of our Indian Forbears.