Hickory Creek Wilderness Project, Allegheny National Forest

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Hickory Creek Wilderness Project, Allegheny National Forest

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:53 pm

Is anyone interested in working on a project to help identify the tallest trees in the Hickory Creek Wilderness in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest?

NTS has already prepared a comprehensive report on the big trees of the Allegheny Islands Wilderness:

http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f ... 306#p15306

I've been thinking, why not do something for Hickory Creek Wilderness too? It is a large area, more than 8,600 acres, so that is a lot of ground to cover. However, there are some fairly obvious places to start looking.

For example, I went to the Bradford Ranger Station today and looked through some old timber stand records & reports for the area that predate the wilderness designation (1984). The silviculture guys pulled the files for me so I could look through them and make photocopies. I identified a handful of stands that records indicate originated in the late 1800s, and a few others from the 1910s. These are generally off-trail areas toward the southern tier of the wilderness area.

Most of the rest of the forest cover in the wilderness dates back to the 1920s - 1940s or so. A little bit is much younger. Also, a tornado smashed through the area in May of 1985. But who knows what could be found? I've seen some pretty massive black cherry and red oak trees, etc. right along the trail over the years.

I am thinking of writing a comprehensive history of the area and how it came to be designated wilderness, etc. I thought a neat component of a report like that would be a list of the tallest trees of the area.

Probably a long-term, multi-year, evolving project. Not something that can be done by one person over a weekend or a couple of weekends. But I thought I might as well get started this spring and summer. It would be great to have more experienced NTS tree-measurers with me, at least at first.

I am going to be in Michigan the weekend of the workshop at Cook Forest, so unfortunately can't attend that.

Thank you for your consideration of this project proposal!
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

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