Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

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Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by greif » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:30 pm

I notice that many OG forests get mentioned here, but not so many directions or exact locations are given. Is this by design to keep large quan. of people out of the forest?
I suggest that those willing to read, assimilate, travel to, and hike in such a forest will provide the respect that it deserves and good directions and coordinate should be provided. Maybe the same applies to specific trees, but I favor the forests as a whole rather stand alone big trees.

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Re: Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by Don » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:59 pm

Speaking only for myself, having been a national park service employee, I would hate to see NTS encourage visitation to these rare and endangered old-growth forest ecosystems. Especially in the East where centuries of post-settlement occupation has rendered even "wilderness areas" less resilient, less resistant to disturbance. My fear is that we (yes even us well-intentioned NTS folks) would eventually love them to death.
For those that do, the data gathered, the images taken, the sounds recorded, all should be shared.
Let's leave the wildernesses as untrammeled as we can.
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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Re: Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by greif » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:00 pm

I find that in looking for OG places to visit, I need to do extensive research )thank goodness for the internet!) to locate most of them. Most often I have only a place name (ie; Smith Woods) to go on and find bits and pieces of info from 20 or more sites and can figure out where a place may be. I was wondering if I should be posting locations here. All (these) places already have hiking trails and are intended to be accessible.

My greater fear is that OG sites don't get recognized and can be destroyed through ignorance (even in the case of sites owned by orgs such as the Nature Conservancy which sometimes does land swaps to get "more desirable" land), if the land is not thoroughly identified in their records (big org problem- record-keeping!) .

Locally, here in Rochester, NY a county park (Tryon Park) is said to have old growth, but has for years been used by mountain bikers (which were not allowed in any county parks) who have created a great number of trails (all rather close to each other). In the past couple of years this has degraded further in that the county has allowed a trial period of legal mountain biking there; ... eriod.html

The lack of understanding by the county, and lack of public knowledge of this being an old growth area has led to it being thrown over to very heavy use. Unfortunately all OG areas are not protected by conservancy type groups.

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Re: Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:56 pm

I would never have seen the Sag Branch poplar if Will had not given me directions to where it lives.

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Re: Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by Chris » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:28 am

Personally, I feel if a forest is on a established trail, there is no reason not to have directions. There may be individual trees or special forests that should be "secret", but the light visitation that most old growth forest would receive seems pretty small. Signs at some trailhead saying "these are super old trees" is such more likely to cause problems than directions on an obscure forum.

Davis's Old growth in the East doesn't have directions per se, but lots of the listening you can discern pretty easily with a topo map. And several old growth sites are established with parking lots, trails, public directions.

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Re: Posting of directions to Old Growth Forests?

Post by John Harvey » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:38 pm

This is my opinion on the matter... If someone is determined to find an old growth forest or a particular tree, they will find it. This will happen to the detriment of the forest surrounding it. Someone hacking around through the forest off trail will do more damage than the few people who would visit a published location and stay on the trails. That being said, most people aren't interested in visiting these sites. From personal experience, most people think I'm strange for even being interested in old and large trees. The worst damage I've seen to old growth forest on the east coast is people littering, homeless sleeping in, and spray-paint on trees. I can almost guarantee you that none of those people involved knew it was an old growth forest or cared if they did. People are just slobs.
I'm someone who is very careful to leave the forest undisturbed. This being said, the last time I was in the redwoods in California, I visited a couple of the "hidden" or "undisclosed" titans. Let me say this, I came determined to find them and I did. If I had known exactly where they were before I came, I would have stepped on a lot less sword ferns and redwood sorrel. I believe the purpose of hiding them is more to protect the beauty and natural setting of the trees then to protect the trees themselves. A large trail leading up to the base of a titan or through an old growth forest is just unattractive.
Its human nature to want to protect something rare and beautiful, unfortunately its also human nature to destroy and pervert. Because of this I'm torn on whether or not locations should be disclosed. I do however wonder if hiding them leads to unnecessary damage.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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