Strokes of Poplar


At one point along I-84 in Eastern Oregon during the 2000's, the locals that frequently drove through the long, boring and straight stretches of plentiful farmland would be greeted with several miles of Poplar trees lining the highway. As fast as I fell in love with this place, I quickly learned how fast these man-made woods disappeared. Within a few years time, these fields are now barren and empty, a stark contrast from the years before when it was full of life and color. The 25,000+ acre tree farm was bought by people with out of state interests and the trees were clear cut to make room for cow pastures and other farmland over the years. Alarmed with the quick disappearance of trees, I kept tabs of the news that came out of that area. Eventually, I learned that the factory farm responsible for clearcutting were blatantly violating environmental laws and had received numerous notices from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) for improper waste management practices as well as endangering nearby drinking wells and groundwater. It was then and there that I had realized on how easy it really is for greed to ruin things, and how important for us to be gatekeepers of the natural lands we have left on Earth.


Toby Fitch


Strokes of Poplar






A Poplar tree farm in peak fall colors of yellow, surrounded in misty fog.


The RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center retained rights from artist or next of kin on August 5, 2020


Toby Fitch and He/Him/His, “Strokes of Poplar,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed October 3, 2022,