Recreation & Conservation: David Sunshine and Carol Jordan
David Sunshine and Carol Jordan are the owners of approximately 180 acres in Richmond, VT. The property has been enrolled in the Tree Farm program since the 1970s. While privately owned, the property includes trails that are part of the Richmond Trail Committee, so the public enjoys the property as well.
David and Carol purchased the property in 1973 and enrolled in the Tree Farm program at the advisement of their consulting forester. The land is in the Current Use program as well and has been since the program started. In addition to woodlands the property includes 30 acres of hay meadow, a pond that they constructed, and a farmhouse where David and Carol live. In the span of their ownership, the land has undergone three timber harvests, the most recent of these occurring last year. The last harvest focused on removing some areas of pine from the property.
Recreation plays a big role on their land. The Richmond Trail Committee is a trail network that is open to the public for non-motorized travel. Year-round people enjoy hiking, biking, skiing and other forms of exercise on the trail. In their spare time David, an attorney, and Carol, a massage therapist, are avid hikers, so they are on the trails often too. Maintenance of the trails, bridges, and other parts of the property is a continual task on the property. For instance, David cuts and brush-hogs the meadow portions of the property throughout the year which is something that he enjoys doing.
Conservation is another important aspect of their land. David and Carol seek to keep their land as forestland. They do this through implementing management practices and meeting with a consulting forester on a yearly basis. David said that foresters are very helpful in providing guidance for maintenance. “They know what to do,” as he put it. They are also a part of conservation organizations too. 100 acres of their property is in the Vermont Land Trust ensuring that it can not be developed. They are also members of the Northeast Preserve, an organization that has conserved around 3,000 acres of land in Chittenden County. David and Carol would like to pass the land on to family members in the future, so keeping and maintaining the land for them is a goal they always work toward.
When it comes to the challenges of maintaining their property, David said the challenges are, “things I can’t control.” Weather events such as storms that cause damage, or invasive species, like the emerald ash borer, are constant threats, but they are challenges that they must adapt to when they come along.
David and Carol have enjoyed being a part of the VT Tree Farm program for over 40 years. They have found the newsletters to be very informative helping them stay connected to other tree farmers and happenings in the world of forestry. They also enjoy getting to have the Tree Farm sign on their property. David said, “Carol and I like trees and being active, so being a part of the program is a good thing for us.”