“This is a very sad and frustrating development for all those who have worked so hard to improve the Camp over the last several years, and especially for all those who use the Camp in their teaching and research,” Crane said. “Our intention is to build back as soon as possible, and to proceed with our plans to further improve the Camp for teaching and research for all Yale students.
“By this time next year our intention is to be fully open for business with both new facilities and replacements for those destroyed.”
ven before the fire, the School planned to build a new campus for field studies at the forest, which was made possible by alumni donations. A gift by Betty and Whitney MacMillan ’51 B.A. has enabled construction a new three-season “wet” laboratory with lab, classroom and storage space, and new field research plots.
In addition, the F&ES Class of 1980 recently committed the funds to build a timber-frame auditorium at the forest that will double classroom space and expand the capacity for events, meetings, and outreach with the surrounding communities.
(Inspired by another gift, from an alumnus from Yale College and F&ES, alumni are also raising funds to hire a new lecturer to teach ecology in the hands-on tradition of Tom Siccama, whose field lessons in the forests of New England, including at Yale Myers, inspired generations of students
. Other recent gifts have expanded the QCI and established a new summer fellowship program for field ecology and natural history, as well as competitive research fellowships.)
In the days since the fire, hundreds of F&ES alums and students contacted Ashton, many saying that their hearts were broken by the news.
“I wanted to say to them, ‘Look, don't worry,’” Ashton said. “They were thinking of me, they were thinking of the forest. But I let them know this is going to be resurrected in full force.”