Community members question management plan for Poland Municipal Forest

POLAND — From ecologists, to a member of the family that helped establish the Poland Municipal Forest, to people who simply love nature, community members showed up in droves to a forum on management of the forest.

At a joint session of village council and the forest board tonight for discussion of a proposed plan for the woods, about 50 people packed village hall to standing room only.

More than a dozen members of the public asked questions, expressed their love for the forest, agreed with some parts of the proposed management plan, and pushed back at other parts, especially the idea of harvesting trees.

“The thing we love most about the forest is it’s so natural. If you want a really beautiful garden, go up to Mill Creek Park. If you want great paved trails, go to Boardman Park,” said Patti Wanat, who described herself as a frequent forest visitor. “What makes it so special is it’s allowed to be in its natural state in so many ways.”

Many of those who spoke expressed concerns about preservation of the forest. The plan commissioned by the forest board and put together by forester Rick Miller includes recommendations such as targeted felling of dead or dying trees near trails, and removal of invasive species.

For the complete story, read Wednesday's Vindicator and

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