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Preserving New England Stone Walls

One of my favorite memories as a kid growing up in New Hampshire was coming across old stone walls in the woods. Rock walls in the New England area are estimated to run a total of 250,000 miles. But, given the increased popularity of weathered stone in home improvement projects, those walls are now under assault. Thieves in Londonderry, NH used heavy equipment last year to dismantle a 500 foot section of wall for resale.

State government is moving quickly to stop the plundering. A bill recently signed by the NH governor upped the fine for stealing stones to “triple damages against thieves, plus attorney’s fees, to restore a picked-apart wall,” which could in effect cost up to thousands of dollars. I think this is great — and think we should throw them in the stockade while we are at it. What do you think: Recycle old stone walls or preserve the beauty of the woods?

Credit: Boston Globe article