Here’s to the Land of the Longleaf Pine

Read the new essay HERE:


Today I discovered that the best way to ring in a New Year is to see one’s name on the cover of encore magazine. My favorite independent weekly publication printed an essay I wrote in a fit of passion at the end of last year, in which I respond to a story reported by the Star News (read it here) about a new facility at our local State Port opened by multinational biofuel company Enviva. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Star News, but in this particular instance they didn’t get the whole story. So I felt it necessary to do my part, as an occasionally card-carrying member of the free press, to inform the citizenry.

The information in this essay was mostly sourced from the Dogwood Alliance (, an Asheville, N.C.-based nonprofit organization who Lorax-esquely defends arboreal interests in the state. They presented a film at ILM hangout Jengo’s Playhouse a few weeks ago, Threatened Forests, by a French citizen named Benoit Grimont. The film portrays the environmental detriments of burning biofuel in Europe, and how that all ties back to the forests of Southeastern America, like the one in my backyard. These hardwood forests are being cut down and turned into wood pellets, to be shipped overseas and then burned, and the company responsible, Enviva, has the audacity to call it “environmentally friendly.” Not on my watch.

Hopefully my little essay fills in the gaps in the story; hopefully this gets the message out to the people of my state and those who would strip her bare that we’re not going to tolerate that sort of thing around here. It’s time to talk back to the ones responsible for these decisions. Even though it’s slightly amplified due to my profession, I only have one voice. We need a chorus. So if this fires you up as much as it did me, say something. Call your congressional representative. Talk to our shiny new Governor. Tell them both that you’re a registered voter, and you’d like to see something done about this, please.

Read all about it here. Thanks to encore magazine and Shea Carver for publishing this piece. Spread the word!

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