Meet the faces who make up the Campaign to STOP GE Trees. Denis Melican is a member of the American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation and is also on the Campaign to STOP GE Trees North American Coordinating Committee. Here’s what he had to say about working with the campaign.
What’s your background?
Functioning as a landscape gardener, I took care of Moore State Park in Paxton, MA for 33 years. The park is a beautiful historic landscape with waterfalls, the largest rhododendron collection in New England, a robust trail system and the first chestnut orchard on state land.
How did you get involved with the Campaign to Stop GE Trees?
Our growing dissatisfaction with The American Chestnut Foundation’s slow moving drift to embrace genetic engineering compelled us to seek out environmental sources of truth that hadn’t been compromised by corporate values. That search brought us to the Global Justice Ecology Project and from there to the Campaign to Stop GE Trees.
What excites you about the campaign?
What excites me most is that despite the bleakness of the Trump years in office with the pandemic and the lockdowns, an increasing number of people are asking fundamentally important questions, like how can we stay silent while our most precious rights to healthy forests and clean air are being undermined daily by rogue immoral corporations and their partners in academia.
What do you hope to accomplish by being involved with the campaign?
I hope to raise the awareness of ordinary Americans that they should feel encouraged to take a stand against industrial GE tree plantations.