Dr. Dan UpdatesEnvironmentalism

Saving the American Chestnut Tree

Sometimes even the most abhorrent political agendas can give spin off a worthwhile endeavor as an “unintended consequence”.  The environmental movement is a good example.  Clean, breathable air and unpolluted drinkable water are essential for life and should be a common goal.  Most of us also understand that throwing trash out the window of a moving vehicle is unacceptable behavior.  Few would argue against reasonable rules for maintaining an environment that promotes safety and health, as long as private property rights and individual freedom is absolutely maintained.

Unfortunately, the environmental movement was highjacked by the promoters of one-world socialist governance as a means to destroy the US economy.  The United States remains the single most important road block to implementation of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 program, which seeks to end private property rights, individual freedom, and the American lifestyle in order to achieve the worldwide socialist tyranny the arrogant elitists desire.

With that reality in mind, it is often impossible to accept any positive motives emanating from the environmental movement.  Those of us who believe in the Constitution and the Natural Law Rights it guarantees are usually skeptical about initiatives promoted by environmentalists, because we believe it is all part of their worldwide collectivist agenda.

Several months ago, while speaking about Agenda 21 in Burnsville, NC, Dr. Dan shared the stage with Bryan Burhans, the president and CEO of the American Chestnut Foundation.  Bryan’s discussion of their efforts to save the American Chestnut from extinction was truly fascinating.

American Chestnut Tree Blight (http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/)
American Chestnut Tree Blight (http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/)

For centuries, the American Chestnut was the crown jewel of the hardwood forest.  A towering stately tree, the wood was ideal for furniture and the sweet, edible nut was a staple of the colonial diet.  At the beginning of the 20th Century, a fungus from Japan was inadvertently introduced into the American forest and decimated the chestnut population.  This fungal blight and the reaction of the tree to the infection prevent the tree from growing to any substantial height and producing edible nuts.

The American Chestnut Foundation, a charitable entity, is in the process of developing a blight-resistant tree that can be re-introduced into our eastern forests.

Bryan Burhans is Dr. Dan’s guest on Freedom Forum Radio  for a three-part interview beginning this Saturday, July 27.  In this fascinating interview, Dr. Dan and Bryan will discuss the history and economic importance of the American Chestnut tree, the science of chestnut blight, and what the American Chestnut Foundation is doing to successfully re-introduce this magnificent tree to our forests.

Dr. Dan also discusses with Bryan proper forest management plans, the importance of clear cutting programs, and suggestions for citizen involvement in the Forest Service planning process.

Bryan BurhansBryan currently serves as the president & CEO of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), headquartered in Asheville, NC.  Bryan received an Associate of Science degree in Wildlife Technology from The Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus, B.S in Wildlife Science from The Pennsylvania State University, and a M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Frostburg State University.  Prior to coming on board with TACF, Bryan was Director of Land Management Programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation, Wildlife Scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Research Assistant with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Bryan lives with his wife and 17-year-old son in Asheville, NC and originally hails from Pennsylvania.

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  1. I actually have a piece of property in the Mountains of NC in Wilkes County that has 2 live American Chestnut trees on it. The trees were fully grown back in 1960 when my sister bought the property. As a child I collected and ate the nuts. I don’t know if these trees are immune to the fungus or have never been exposed. My sister let NC Wildlife know back in the 1960’s but they never had the trees tested to see which it was.

  2. Charles. Thanks for this information. With your permission, I will put Bryan Burhans of the American Chestnut Foundation in contact with you. I am sure that he will be extremely interested in examining your chestnut trees. Dr. Dan

  3. We have a Chestnut tree that produces edible nuts in our subdivision in Murphy NC

  4. Yes, I have two chestnut trees that are producing great fruit. I planted the trees in the 80’s (if I remember correctly). I believe I planted 5 trees but when I moved back here in 2004 I could only find two. These were planted on my childhood home and my parents had deceased. I am sure it was from the lack of being cared for that might have caused the others to die. ERC

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