David Marvin

Founder, Butternut Mountain Farm

Longtime environmental advocate

We face environmental, energy, and climate challenges that are all interrelated and daunting. How can we possibly address them and have our legacy be as promising as our heritage suggested it could be?

I believe that fundamentally we need a land ethic and a stewardship ethic that recognize humans must not be conquers of the Earth, but need to co-exist with and respect all biota and the communities that support them. We need to seek understanding of the complexity and interconnections of us, them, earth, water, and sky. This is necessary for our mutual survival and demonstrates the humanity in humankind.

We cannot expect the earth to sustain us if we abuse it any more than we can expect a person we abuse to respond with kindness. I believe we should be conservative in how we use our resources and use economy in how we sustain our communities. In all our endeavors we should first do no harm and behave as if our lives depend upon that principle, because they do.

If future generations look back and find we have been needlessly cautious and thrifty, let them decide if their legacy can be spent down a bit. I doubt that will be the case.

David Marvin standing at the beginning of the farm road up Butternut Mountain, near his sugarhouse, in Johnson, VT. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.

David Marvin standing at the beginning of the farm road up Butternut Mountain, near his sugarhouse, in Johnson, VT. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.