Poland council talks forest: ‘It looks pretty unloved’

POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – What to do about the forest? That was the question asked Tuesday night by Village Council and the forest board in Poland.

The Poland Municipal Forest has been having issues with dead trees and contamination.

The meeting saw a number of public comments, as well as a plan set out by a forester hired by the village. As they try to decide what can be done to save something, they fear it’s in danger.

“Let’s be honest, it looks pretty unloved in some areas,” a board member said.

Among the issues are water contamination in the streams and dead trees. Many of the trees have been killed by boring insects.

Forester Rick Miller says they should go.

“Get ’em on the ground so they know where they’re going to go,” Miller said. “Get them on the ground and let them go from there.”

One-hundred-fifty acres of land for the forest was donated by Grace Butler back in the 1930’s.

Tuesday, her great-granddaughter Dorothy Butler told the board her great grandmother wanted the forest to be left as it is.

“Those terms must be honored,” she said. “Anything less would be an abnegation of her memory and her gift”

Others at the meeting agreed, saying it was a bad idea to remove trees and potentially use them for harvest.

But a board member says their original advice was not to harvest and should not be a part of the plan.

“Trees fall down and what they do is create habitats for other animals,” they said.

Village Council wants to develop the forest for recreation, trails and education. But many neighbors say they just want to leave it as it is.

Another comment echoed was the formation of a park committee formed by members of the community — potentially even having one of the Butler relatives sit on the committee.

So far, though, nothing is officially decided.