A cultural and ecological tragedy is about to play out along the Miles Creek, in Trappe, Talbot County.
Forty acres of tall, quiet, splendid Foster Old Growth Streamside Forest, which should serve as a modest-sized sanctuary for Trappe’s growing population, including the proposed Trappe East development, immediately upstream in the Miles Creek headwaters, is about to be destroyed–by principals who have never even seen it, with no thought for the squandering of this lost human resource. It took two human lifetimes to grow this watershed forest, which feeds and shades the accessible, lovely flowing freshwater Miles Creek.
This prodigality results from a failure of vision, planning, and ecological responsibility at Trappe town, Talbot County, and Maryland state levels. No one has the courage to intervene and prevent this from happening. Hogan Industries, a family enterprise, has advertised future housing opportunities here as “Easton Overlook.” But our Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seems ignorant or oblivious of the profound squandering of this fundamental aspect of the quality of our human lives. In contrast, the Trappe East developers have submitted to DEP formal plans for protection of the limited forest (100 acres) and extensive riparian tree resources within their 900-acre farm property. Saving the Foster forest enhances the residential development property value of his adjacent 400 acres of farmland—so even as a strictly transactional deal, this act of conservation makes sense!
We all need a Stay of Execution for this forest. It would be a Stay of Execution for all of us who seek to live in ecological balance and enjoy the blessings of nature here in Trappe, Talbot County, and the Choptank Watershed. Acquisition of this forest sanctuary, private or public, would be a vital act of leadership pointing toward a viable, civilized future for all of us. We are all stakeholders here.
I think of all the lives and resources expended in faraway Afghanistan; all those wounded, damaged veterans; all those helicopters and Humvees now lying there in ruins. Surely there should be homeland funds to preserve our own American dignity, vision, and balance. Protecting this forest as a human sanctuary protects our own spirit, equality, and societal balance. Ask not for whom the bell tolls…
Paul Randolph Spitzer