I hope our selectmen take up the offer from the Maine Forest Service to go for a walk on China public land soon, before the snow gets too deep. The more reasons more people have to be outside, the more interactions we can have with the land. Public land can be a land as part of the community, not a land apart from the community.

A recent letter in the Town Line noted the stumpage is worth $129,000, as of the printing of the last plan. At that time, selectmen said the land had greater value than wood value.

With that in mind, any wood harvest should have education, science, wildlife and some goal of aesthetics in mind. We should choose young up-and-coming harvesters to do the work instead of a contractor with the best price and political resolve. They will be the ones with children in our schools, maybe stay in Maine when they find their own roots.

Rather than have one contractor shoulder public education, young startup harvesters could take part with small intermediate entrees. After each step, the crew’s names could be put on the kiosk, along with the objectives and how they were met. This would be progressive thinking, involve commerce, and set the land apart from just recreation or woodlot status.

Any stumpage value could be from a sliding scale based on how many other objectives one had to meet while on site. The people who lived in Yorktown, a small group of homes in fields with two sawmills in the northeast corner of China, had strong ties to our natural resources; for some of us in today’s world not much has changed.

Tim Basham


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