CRAFTSBURY – Negotiations between Vermont’s leaves and the humans that love them came to a halt Wednesday evening with no deal in sight. The maples, aspens, oaks, beeches, hickories, dogwoods, and almost all types of trees in the state have voted to strike and will not be changing color this autumn unless their demands are met. The negotiating delegation from the human side has expressed sympathy with the trees’ demands, but admits there is little they can do.
“Look, we get it, we really do,” says lead negotiator Linus Jay. “They want cooler temperatures in the fall, and we all want that, but it isn’t something that we can control locally. If I could turn global temperatures down about 2 degrees right now, if there was a switch I could flip, I would absolutely flip it. But the trees need to understand that this is bigger than Vermont. There is a larger, worldwide temperature budget that I just don’t have access to.”
A representative from the trees told reporters that the foliage union doesn’t blame Vermont specifically for the continued deterioration of their working conditions, but that they do see humans in general as the largest contributor to what they call “an uncomfortable and unsafe environment.”
Tourism is down over 5% with the lack of fall foliage this year, and Vermont businesses are urging the two sides to come to some sort of compromise. “They’ve got to be able to offer the trees something,” urged the manager of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. “It’s October, and we have empty rooms!”
So far all attempts at appeasing the trees has failed, and an ominous off-the-record comment from one of the maples close to the negotiations hinted that, if things don’t turn around, maple syrup might be the next thing to go.
Image Credits: Sterling College.