There are usually several sides to every situation.
When I read that Enviva is looking at Richmond County for a pellet-producing plant for this area of North Carolina, I immediately thought of the area’s forestry industry of the 1800s.
When the forests here were depleted at the turn of the 20th century to satisfy European needs, the industry just kept moving south in search of more forests.
Since then, more sustainable forestry practices have been put in place.
The proposed Richmond County site is just one of Enviva’s plants in the state. One opened in May in Northampton. There is another in Ahoskie.
Far be it for me to stand in the way of progress. The state will no doubt favor the Richmond County plant as it has the others. If our county does not receive the plant, I’m sure surrounding counties will be waiting for a chance for such an industry.
Usually when pine tree stands are cut, hardwoods are left to grow. Enviva would be able to use hardwoods also. I would hate to see our lands reduced to nothing but rows of pine trees standing across the landscape like soldiers at attention. Not much of a “Scenic Byway” as we have now in Richmond County.
But I am of an older generation. Younger people may not care when jobs and tax revenue will be available until the forests may not be able to re-grow fast enough to meet the demand.
Richmond County is more fortunate than most by having so much land in state-preserved game land. That may be all that wildlife needs. When you travel in North Carolina, you realize we have an abundance of trees.
I wish North Carolina and future generations the best in keeping the state green and working with Enviva to guarantee it.