On Thursday, January 31, at 7 PM the Leach Library will host the presentation, “American Chestnut Restoration and Recovery” presented by wildlife biologist Curtis Laffin. In this presentation he discusses the history and demise of the tree and efforts by the American Chestnut Foundation to restore it locally and throughout its historic range.
Hudson resident Curtis Laffin is a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ranger who has been an active volunteer with the American Chestnut Foundation for the past four years. The majority of his twenty-three years with US Fish and Wildlife was spent in long-range planning for National Wildlife Refuges. Since his retirement in 1994, Laffin has volunteered with NH Fish and Game and has also worked with the Merrimack River Watershed Council. Part of his work with TACF involves collecting chestnut seed pods and fertilizing the tree’s flowers each spring.
This program will explore the history of the American Chestnut tree which less than 100 years ago dominated eastern U.S. forests, with a range of over 200 million acres, until succumbing to chestnut blight, a lethal fungal disease. The blight, which stemmed from imported Asian Chestnut trees, is easily dispersed via air, raindrops, or by animals. The American Chestnut Foundation is currently focusing their efforts on developing a blight-resistant chestnut that can also withstand New Hampshire’s winters.
This program is co-sponsored by the Londonderry Conservation Commission. It is free and open to the public, and will be held in the library’s lower-level Meeting Room. Light refreshments will be served.