New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

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New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:09 pm ... story.html

New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

A wilderness comeback is underway across New England, one that has happened so incrementally that it’s easy to miss.

But step back and the evidence is overwhelming.

Today, 80 percent of New England is covered by forest or thick woods. That is a far cry from the mere 30 to 40 percent that remained forested in most parts of the region in the mid-1800s, after early waves of settlers got done with their vast logging, farming, and leveling operations.

According to Harvard research, New England is now the most heavily forested region in the United States — a recovery that the great naturalist Henry David Thoreau once thought impossible.

Meanwhile, some creatures of fur and feather have returned at astonishing speed — herds and flocks where there were just remnant populations; clear evidence of ecosystem revivals occurring over decades or even years, instead of centuries.

[More at above link.]
"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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Re: New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

Post by dbhguru » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:04 pm


I got a taste of wildlife today in Look Park. On a woods trail, but only a short distance from large open fields, I had stopped to do some photo-meauring. When I turned around. A large black bear ambled across the trail. I've seen black bears looking in my basement window. There are moose in the conservation a mere half mile away. Yep, wildlife has returned.

Robert T. Leverett
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Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
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Re: New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

Post by Bosque » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:49 pm

I started a non-fiction nature book club in Asheville, N.C. (I wanted a tree book discussion club, but I figured that even here that might be difficult to get going.) We are currently reading Nature Next Door: Cities and Trees in the American Northeast by Ellen Stroud. She concentrates on the history of bringing the woods back in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, but, as William Cronon says in the foreword, "The moral of Stroud's story has implications far beyond the American Northeast: the region has forests today because people made choices about them and then did the hard practical and political work of making those choices real. Such things do not happen by accident. They happen because people make them happen. That is as true today as it was a hundred years ago." The first person Stroud describes in the introduction to the book is Herbert Welsh, who in 1915 at age 64 walked from near Philadelphia to Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, starting in May and arriving in late June. He repeated this 500-mile walk into his 70s. I was hooked immediately! Stroud give details about the places and people he encounters. I recommend this book.

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Re: New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

Post by Don » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Yes, I'm a Westerner, born and bred...after five years of working in the woods of deep dark Appalachia, I went to UMASS Amherst to advance my career. One of the classes I chose, took me to Harvard Forest for the day. In addition to seeing many interesting research projects (simulating tip-up mounds, soil relations between trees, advanced oak regeneration, and such), I had a chance to view the amazing Diorama at the Fischer Museum.
I encourage everyone (especially New Englanders) to view the Diorama, either at
or in person. While William Cronon may think it was the 'hand of man' that is responsible for the forest resurgence experienced today in New England, I'd suggest that it was the absence of the 'hand of man' for over a century, that set the forests of New England on their current track...nature deserves the most credit, then follows credit for having the restraint to not muck it up again...just saying, it's a constant struggle to overcome our basest interests.
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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