Allegany State Park

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Merchant
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:18 am

Allegany State Park

Post by Merchant » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:24 pm

Greetings, I am 52 years old and have been visiting Allegany State Park since I was child. I live only 20 min away in Jamestown NY. The park is very special to my family and I am called home to it's forest every summer. The past few years (since I started hunting old growth sites) I started wandering off the grid to explore pockets of old growth. At 65k acres it will take a few more years to cover them all. I am now retracing my steps to begin measuring a few sites that were quite tall. What spawned my interest was "The Sierra Club Guide to the Ancient Forests of the Northeast". I would like to thank the late great Bruce Kershner who sparked my passion and Robert Leverett for his continued passion, Blozan and everyone else connected with this site. I have been hiking, reading and studying articles in my spare time for 4 years now and am taking the next step to document sites, girths, and tree heights. I feel honored to join the ranks of other tree hunters I have read about and hope my now feeble skills will hone with time. There is a champion in there somewhere. (not to mention Lily Dale, but that is another story my new found friend Erik will tell)
What's most unique about Allegany state park is the forest is the oldest in the state. It was the only part of NY not covered by the last glacier some 12k to 14k years ago.
What caught my eye was page 102 in the book that said "Allegany State Park has another (besides the big basin) 13 smaller ancient groves and likely even more ancient forest yet to be documented." Yea Baby! the quest began and off I went. Although, as I surf the internet there is little reference to these sites. I hope to contribute to this site with some data that will spark more interest in the park.

Merchant
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:18 am

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by Merchant » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:30 pm

Also, I do not know if I am posting this information in the right place. This site is hard to navigate if you are not much of a computer person like myself.

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dbhguru
Posts: 4569
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:50 pm

Merchant,

You're doing just fine. Welcome aboard.

Allegany State Park was one of Bruce's favorite places. He did all the coverage of Allegany in our book. I've visited there only a couple of times. However, I hope to visit the old growth there in the future. Maybe we can join up.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Merchant
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:18 am

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by Merchant » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:39 pm

Bob, it is an honor to see your response to my post. As I said, I have been researching and visiting sites in WNY and N. PA for about 4 years now. It started out as a "calling" after heart surgery and has turned into an obsession. Two years ago I discovered this site but stayed clear of the measuring due to my math phobia. I continued to explore on my own thinking one day I should share my exploits with others that share my passion. I read an article last spring about the proposed selective logging of College Lodge (contains 40 acres of old growth not far from the Lily Dale site) and contacted the author of the article, Jon Titus. Jon is a professor of biology at SUNY Fredonia and we exchanged thoughts. A few weeks later I was contacted by a young man also interested in old growth, Erik Danielsen. We met up at rushing stream preserve in Chautauqua County and attempted to measure the girth of a huge cherry we named Bruce Almighty. I explained to Erik that we need to learn how to measure and document these forests and groves, and he has done just that. I am impressed with his efforts and involvement with ENTS. Last Sunday I met him for a second time in Lily Dale learning how to measure the heights of some sacred trees there. He is quite a remarkable young man and his best is yet to come. I hope to match his skills in the near future. His knowledge of the natural world is astounding and his passion is equal. I am looking to purchase a rangefinder soon and am excited to retrace my steps of the pat 4 years. So many trees, so little time. I just finished reading "The Man Who Planted Trees" by Jim Robbins. It has fueled the flame of interest again because like David Milarch, I too had a near death experience 4 years ago and it led me to the old growth. I do not know where this journey will lead me but I feel I am already walking with giants in this field of study amongst the giants of these forests. I contacted Tom Howard back in Feb. 2012 and he sent me a letter sharing his knowledge of Central NY old growth. I regret not keeping in touch with him. Unfortunately, being in the restaurant business consumes my life. I missed an opportunity to meet with him and Erik in Lily Dale last summer.
Be patient with my posting skills. Looking forward to meeting with members in the future.

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PAwildernessadvocate
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:31 pm

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:24 am

Are you related to Natalie Merchant of the 10,000 Maniacs? She is from Jamestown too. She was also at the forefront of the campaign to oppose a logging plan for Allegany State Park in the early to mid 1990s. I was always real grateful to her for that.
Last edited by PAwildernessadvocate on Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Bart Bouricius
Posts: 562
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:41 am

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by Bart Bouricius » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:47 am

Nice to have you posting on the site. You can still get the used Nikon 440's on e- bay for from $90-$150 as well as Suunto clinometers. There are 3 nice rangefinders available now at ebay if you search for Nikon 440 Rangefinder. My wife and I did spent some time cross country skiing in Allegany Park when we lived in Buffalo for 4 years in the 1970's. A good place to explore.

Merchant
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:18 am

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by Merchant » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:37 am

Yes, she is my sister. She is very active in the anti fracking movement here in NY and a fellow tree enthusiast. I remember her working to save the forest in Allegany. I believe she told the governor she would do a concert in the park to draw attention to the matter, he backed down, LOL. She and her partner, Jon Bowermaster, did the documentary "Dear Governor Cuomo", about fracking and are currently working on "Dear President Obama." I hope to get a copy and preview it here in Western NY. We previewed the first movie here in Jamestown NY followed by a Q&A about fracking. I am hoping to preview the next film in SUNY Fredonia NY. It would be great to have the ENTS present explain their work and the importance of saving what few old growth sites are left and why they are important. People know little about fracking or old growth. Looking forward to its release and doing some measuring this winter.

PeterA
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:38 am

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by PeterA » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:48 am

Hi fellow old growth hunter. I do not normally chime in here but the first heading was Allegheny State Park. I was a personal friend and explorer with Bruce Kershner. I went on many adventures with him and Jerry Horowitz. I don't live to far from that area ( Angola NY) . Here is my other to avoid(spam) email address if you want to set up a time and place to do some exploring. I have limited time on weekends though. greaseandn@juno.com

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tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: Allegany State Park

Post by tomhoward » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:09 pm

Chris Merchant,

I'm sorry my brother and I didn't meet you in our trip to western NY and northwestern PA last summer. But we did get to meet Erik Danielsen at Lily Dale. Welcome to the NTS Bulletin Board. You have some extraordinary old growth sites in your part of the state. My studies of central NY old growth continue, but I don't have much new to report. My lack of a vehicle makes exploration of old growth difficult, but at least I have the 2 old growth oak groves of North Syracuse, which are in walking distance from where I live.

Tom Howard

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