Start of new project with DCR

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4464
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Start of new project with DCR

Post by dbhguru » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:54 pm

NTS,

Monica and I have finally gotten started on a project that we proposed to DCR several months ago to help with their interpretive services. DCR is most receptive, and wants to initiate a pilot project. The attachment is a draft of what we intend to present to them. Any comments/suggestions any of you may have would be most appreciated. I have intentionally limited the focus of this first submission. I want to get the first one right. The goal is to eventually the complete trail network of MTSF and MSF, and most of Mount Tom State Reservation.

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

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:36 pm

Bob, Well written and very descriptive you are such a good writer. Great work you have done with this project. Will there be a small brochure that the hiker will be able to pick up on the trailheads to id the tree species,names and great sizes? With maybe small signs numbering the site locations? Just a thought. I can't wait to come up sometime and see all those fabulous trees. Is that the Magic Maple you always write about? Larry

Joe

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by Joe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:52 am

Wow, very well written and with awesome photography! No wonder the state pays attention to Bob- he wins them over with irresitable talent- whereas I just tried over the years to beat them up for their failures and they didn't appreciate it. (ha, ha)
Joe

Joe

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by Joe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:59 am

Which reminds me- when I worked for the state park system way back in '73, they never even heard the term "interpretive services". I recall suggesting that they should have "ranger naturalists" like in the NPS and they looked at me like I just came from Mars.

I would show up early every day and often stay until dark- exploring that park, Savoy-Florida, with my day pack filled with Peterson Field Guides and my binoculars. There wasn't a single state person back then who I could discuss my findings with. They prefered discussing their timber sales, hunting, and the glories of the latest off road vehicles. That was when I began to realize my future wasn't with the state. Back then I thought you enlighten people by just dissing their stupidity. It didn't work. Bob's method is what does work. I guess I just could never show respect to people I don't respect- it's a bad attitude that's gotten me in a lot of trouble- too blunt for my own good. Bob's very gentlemanly approach with a lot of patience is a winning formula.
Joe

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4464
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by dbhguru » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:26 am

Joe and Larry,

Thanks for the votes of confidence. Larry, the current game plan is to produce materials that can be used in a variety of ways to include brochures, kiosks, and websites. We give DCR the info and they turn it into products. DCR's assistant director for interpretive services has promised that if her agency can't devote the resources to the project, using our material, then DCR will back plan B. That plan would then rely on us to produce the final products, whatever they might be. DCR would provide links to the Friends Network website and to our BBS.

The project is very much in its infancy. At this point, it is defined as a pilot venture with focus on Myles Standish SF, Mount Tom State Reservation, and MTSF-MSF. We don't want to be too ambitious at the beginning. At this stage, the ball is in our court. I'm open to any and all suggestions.

I think this project could be loads of fun and open the door to exploring multiple media options. I have a friend that was radio. He now runs a recording studio. He's willing to help. BTW, the credit for getting this initiative launched goes to Monica. She kept pushing me, reminding me that if I kick the bucket, a lot of forest-tree information that currently resides in my head would be irretrievably lost. I tend to downplay the value of the information, but she doesn't. So, here we are. Of course, what could be said of me goes for many of my lady and fellow Ents. Getting the information out of our heads and into forms that have an impact is an important mission, which in part is what the BBS is about. In this context, I do realize that extensive amounts of our forest and tree information exist in cyberspace, but in time, it becomes too voluminous and scattered and too difficult to find and sift through for specialty purposes. Finding the most current information on a topic and threading the pieces together becomes a real challenge. So, we have to be constantly aware of what we want to be keeping the general public and public agencies informed of and be aware of how accessible the information is to those parties. In my mind accessibility is the key to its having an impact. There is no single vehicle that will do it all.

In terms of the information locked up in my noodle, I'm reminded of the first really super white ash we discovered in MTSF, named the Ash Queen. It grows on Clark Mountain at an elevation between 1/2 and 2/3rd up the ridge from the Deerfield River in a rugged boulder field. In the distant past, the Ash Queen was visited by ecologists Drs. Rick Van de Pole and Tom Wessels, architect-timber framer Jack Sobon, Ent John Knuerr, photographer Diane Gray, a professor and students from UMASS Boston, and others, all in visits to the tree with yours truly. I once wrote a poem about the Ash Queen - not a very good poem, but one that expressed my feelings about the tree's importance.

The last time I measured the Ash Queen, a few years ago, her crown had pared back to 146 feet. When originally measured by Van de Pole, Wessels, and myself, she was a hair shy of 148 feet and the tallest known white ash in the Northeast. Diane Gray, a little French photographer who is as tough as nails carried her heavy camera apparatus up that boulder field and photographed the Ash Queen. She pieced together several shots to get the whole tree. After Irene and the snowstorm, I don't even know if the tree is still standing.

In the eyes of many, the Ash Queen will always be just a tree, but not to me. That lone ash inspired yours truly to hunt all over Mohawk for other tall members of its species, and eventually we confirmed nearly twenty 140s, two of which reach 150 feet - off the charts. No other property in the Northeast has yet matched the number of 140-foot tall ash trees. I expect that some of the southern PA sites can, but at this point MTSF is still number one.

Without us, the story of the Ash Queen disappears - just an ash tree on the side of a mountain. No big deal. But it is a big deal. We make it so - and rightly so. I think I've rambled enough.

Joe,

I'm hoping at some point we can produce some neat videos of trail walks. The possibilities are endless.

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

Joe

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by Joe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:33 am

dbhguru wrote:Joe,

I'm hoping at some point we can produce some neat videos of trail walks. The possibilities are endless.

Bob
Bob, trail walks are the easiest to film as they are by nature improvisational- such as the short clip of you with Mike and Sun Leonard measuring a few trees in MTSF- http://vimeo.com/6118369. I'm still a rank amateur still taking baby steps at this but I know I can do far better with experience. Just as you want to record your knowledge for posterity- I want get on film all parts of the forest world- both hard core forestry and the more scientific stuff such as measuring trees, trail hikes, etc.
Joe

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

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by tomhoward » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:53 pm

Bob,

This is a wonderful document! The pictures are glorious, and the whole document brings back good memories of our time there in October. The Saheda Pine is the tallest tree I've ever seen in eastern North America!

Tom Howard

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4464
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by dbhguru » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:25 pm

Tom,

Thanks, my friend. I've just completed a second draft. It is the attachment to the first posting. I deleted the first attachment and uploaded the revised version. I think the latest is much improved. It incorporates suggestions from ED and incorporates a lot of editing from Monica. All suggestions are welcome.

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

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4464
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:13 pm

NTS,

I've attached the latest version of the interpretive trail description to DCR of the Elders Grove Trail. There are more images and I've shifted material around a bit. Ed gave me some excellent suggestions.

I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to wade through another version - or any version. However, the thought occurs to me that we could initiate an NTS-wide project on the trail interpretation theme. We could jointly work on an NTS Guide to Great Tree Trails. Each trail would be a separate stand-lone description. Writing styles and focuses could vary. The guide would be the composite of the individual descriptions.

Our site descriptions are fine, but most of what we see and relate are not from established trails. Visitors will usually not see what we describe. The trail guide would be for the public.

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

User avatar
Chris
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:52 pm

Re: Start of new project with DCR

Post by Chris » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:17 pm

Bob,

I really like it! Here are some thoughts I came up with. Mostly very small things.

page 1- "Native Americans". Were the primary people living in this area Mohawk or some other group? If we can be more precise, the better.

page 2 - How did you 'confirm' those ages? Was it by tree rings? If yes, a short bit about tree rings seem appropriate.... "Using an instrument called a increment borer, a small section of the tree can be removed. By counting the rings, the age of the tree can be determined. This procedure doesn't injure the tree".

page 2 - "pre-settlement". Perhaps pre European settlement to differentiate from per-existing Native people

page 2 - "The water is now controlled by TransCanada, a power company that monitors river flow from the Bear Swamp Dam." Seems clunky wording to me and I don't know if you need to advertise for TransCanada. How about "The water level in the river is controlled by releases at the upstream Bear Swamp Dam"

page 2 - "Negus Mountain (1,773 feet) forms one side of gorge and Todd-Clark Ridge (1,923 feet). Both peaks rise abruptly above the Deerfield River – Clark nearly 1,300 feet, and Negus 1,100. This creates a 1,000-foot deep gorge." Seems clunky. How about "The 1,000 ft deep gorge is created between Negus Mountain (1,773 ft) to the north and Todd-Clark Ridge (1,923 ft) to the south"

page 2 - The first time you use white pine, do you want to include the scientific name like you did with Riga Fir? You didn't with the other trees. Should be consistent.

page 3 - You mention the hemlock on the slope? Are they present on the south slope on the north side of the river? If no, perhaps something about Hemlock growing on north side because cool, moister?

page 7 - "To fully enjoy the trail experience, one must be able to recognize the species" Perhaps mention that a field guide to trees can be helpful in this task. Do the Friends of Mohawk State Forest have a little bookstore you can direct people to?

page 8 - "until a fairly extensive disturbance allows abundant light to reach the forest floor" What type of disturbance? I would list a few.

page 9 - capitalize genus names of mosses

page 10 - Should be The Wilderness Society, the is part of the proper name of group

page 10 - Perhaps say "Great Smoky Mountains" of southern Appalachians or NC-TN?

page 14 - "The terrain above is extremely steep. Past glacial action has resulted in an area of small to medium-sized boulders of Cheshire schist, creating a mineral-rich environment." I haven't been here, so I can't say for sure, but I am imagining a steep, boulder covered slope. This probably was created after glacial retreat as rocks moved down slope because of periglacial processes. The geologist in me had to nitpick ;)

page 15 - "A few appear to be blight resistant (at least this is the belief today)" I don't think you need the second half.

page 18 - "This tree has been climbed and modeled for volume by the NTS, first in 1998 and again in 2007. NTS maintains accurate records on its annual growth.". I know you mention it at the very top, but I think including the full name of NTS would be good [and give a bit more publicity!]. Also, you really need to describe what "modeled for volume" means. I don't think most people would really get it.

page 19 - "Shawnee chief who died in the Battle of the Thames in 1813 trying to preserve his culture." I know this shouldn't get "political", but I don't think preserving his culture is a fair description. He was trying to protect native land from the encroachment and seizer by white settlers.

page 21 - "For example, a red maple near Saheda measures 6.8 feet around, and reaches the extraordinary height of 125.3 feet." For every other tree you used diameter, not circumference. Stay consistent.

page 23 - "Here is an image of yellow-bellied sapsucker holes on the trunk of an American basswood." Maybe something about why the bird would drill these holes "In this image, a yellow-bellied sapsucker has drilled holes in a American Basswood to drink the sweet sap.

page 24 - It seems like an abrupt ending. Maybe something about returning pamphlet when finished if you aren't going to keep it. Or a list of website to visit for more information [Friends of Mohawk SF, Mohawk SF, NTS].

Post Reply

Return to “MA - Mohawk Trail State Forest”