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Likes Your Post Button


Likes Your Post

I added a nee MOD and gave everyone permission to use it. It is much like the "Like" button on Facebook, for those of you familiar with Facebook. There is a button on the upper right corner of the message that vaguely looks like a "Thumbs Up" icon. Just click on it. The "Likes your message" count appearing below the posters name and icon will go up by one, and your name will be added to a list of people who liked the post at the bottom of the message. The button doesn't really do anything more than that. It is just an acknowledgment that the post was read and found interesting. The button doesn't appear on announcements, but should be there for everyone in every post. After you click the thumbs up the icon changes to a thumbs down icon. Clicking again will take away your likes. This in effects allows you to acknowledge you read the post and like it even if you do not have any specific comment to add.

Links to Between the ENTS website and the ENTS BBS

I have been doing some other upgrades to the BBS over the past couple of days. First you may have noticed I placed links on every forum on the BBS to the equivalent index page on the ENTS and WNTS website, and I also placed links on every index page on the websites to the corresponding forum on the BBS so that navigation between the two will be as seamless as possible.

Daily Digest

I also want to encourage people to subscribe to the "Daily Digest" which sends a summary of all of the posts made each day out as a single email to subscribers. In this way you can be sure that you will not miss a post and have an opportunity to see what everyone is talking about even if you do not browse all of the forums. It is a great asset and I want people to use it. The options for the Digest are under the User Control Panel page that can be accessed by clicking on the User Control Panel link at the upper left side of the BBS . Then click on the Digest tab to set your options.

by edfrank
Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:20 pm
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Re: Life span of American Beech?


I really don't like the entire concept of the average life span of trees. The reasoning is a bit convoluted, but not really that complicated. Say you start out with a tree species sprouting from seeds. Initially there are thousands of them. Over the first ten years these thin out and the total numbers of tree seedlings decreases dramatically. As time passes the trees tend to continue to decrease in number at an ever decreasing rate. so at what ever age you pick there are trees that are still alive and will continue to grow older, and a much larger majority of trees that did not reach this age. There is no average age at which the trees reach and then start to die off. The trees are dying off from the time they sprout and continue to die off ever more slowly as time passes. They are not like people wit an average life span. If for example 90% of the seedlings die off in the first twenty years, does that mean the average life span of the trees is less than twenty years? I don't think so, but that is the kind of figure you would get if you look at the lifespan of trees in the same way as you do people. You similarly can't say that the average lifespan is some percentage of the maximum known age of the tree, because the last surviving tree may live twice as long, than the second oldest tree. The tail of the population age plot may trail off for a long and irregular length. So there really is no good way to define the average age of a tree species. We can guess an average age for say beech, but mostly that is a false impression based upon the logging history of the area. Because you don't see many beech older than 150 years is related to the fact that the forests were pretty much cut flat in the last 100 to 150 years, so you are seeing a false age distribution.

You could define average age by something like the age at which the percentage of trees older than X is some percentage of the number of trees alive at age Y where Y might be something like 100 years for most species. Again the numbers would need to be determined by aging large numbers of trees at a site that had not been logged to screen out false distributions.

For your tree guide I would suggest listing the maximum know age for trees that have had a reasonable amount of sampling. For American Beech the oldest cross-dates specimen is an 204 years old - this number is very misleading because the tree has only been lightly sampled. An older document by Hough et.. al, reported a ring count age of 366 from the Tionesta River area of Pennsylvania. Lee Frelich has suggested that the tree may reach 400 years in the Sylvania Wilderness of Michigan. Those number seem reasonable to me. There are two places you can look for maximum ages One is Neil Pedersons' Eastern Old List which has accurate ages, but with the caveat that many of the species listed have only a limited sampling and likely the max ages listed do not represent a realistic maximum age for the species, and the ENTS Old List which as a limited selection of maximum ages that have been reported. The ages here are older and I feel more realistic, but are not cross dated and could contain significant errors.

In any case I don't think the idea of average life span has any merit unless defined similarly to my suggestions above, and I would not include it in your tree pages.

by edfrank
Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:42 pm
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The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees

In 1987 this Canadian production won the Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film, and in 1994 was voted by animation artists to be one of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time. This English version is narrated by Christopher Plummer.

It is a fictional tale that tells the story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps near Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century. It does however reflect the examples of several real life personages.

Part 1 of 3 (9:52)

Part 2 of 3 (9:57)

Part 2 of 3 (9:45)

by edfrank
Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:40 pm
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In the Time of Trees

In the Time of Trees

A photo essay by

Magnum Photographer Stuart Franklin has spent a decade exploring the beauty of trees and the unique place they occupy in man's world

Read more:,29307,1731606,00.html
by edfrank
Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:59 pm
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American Woodcock

American Woodcock

Scolopax minor

Today I had an interesting encounter with an American Woodcock along side of a dirt road. The bird was slowly bouncing up and down, preforming for me as I watched from inside of my vehicle. I moved teh van several times back ad forth, but this did not really seem to bother the bird. The are also known as a Timberdoodle. They are particulary well know for their mating dances that begin shortly after dusk in the mating season. This was late afternoon and somewhat early for the mating season in this area.

Here are a few photos I took today. and some links to find out more about the bird species.





Edward Frank


The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a small chunky shorebird species found primarily in the eastern half of North America. Woodcock spend most of their time on the ground in brushy, young-forest habitats, where the birds' brown, black, and gray plumage provides excellent camouflage...

Woodcocks have stocky bodies, cryptic brown and blackish plumage and long slender bills. Their eyes are located on the sides of their heads, which gives them 360° vision. Unlike in most birds, the tip of the bill's upper mandible is flexible.

As their common name implies, the woodcocks are woodland birds. They feed at night or in the evenings, searching for invertebrates in soft ground with their long bills. This habit and their unobtrusive plumage makes it difficult to see them when they are resting in the day. Most have distinctive displays known as "roding", usually given at dawn or dusk.

All woodcocks are popular gamebirds; the island endemic species are often quite rare already due to overhunting. The pin feathers of the woodcock are much esteemed as brushtips by artists, who use them for fine painting work. The pin feather is the most recently formed feather and found at the joint in the middle of the wing.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology - All About Birds

site includes photos, sounds of calls, and video.
Call of the woodcock:

by edfrank
Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:48 pm
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Early Spring, Western PA


I went out for a short drive yesterday to catch a few images of the early spring colors. We often think of the fal foliae in terms of color, but there is color in the spring as well. Beyond the pale green of youg leaves are the bright white bursts of cherry flowers, red maple flowers, and even the red leaves of the maples as the first burst out of their buds. We still have the grays of the winter bark. The brown beech leaves still cloth the tree. The bright green of hemlock and white pine stand in contrast to the bare branches and teh first hnts of spring color. I wanted to try and capture some of these things before this passing momment of the spring season passed.








Edward Frank

by edfrank
Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:02 pm
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Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold


The following text is from
Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948) was an American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which sold over a million copies. Influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation, his ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the radical wing of the environmental movement, with his biocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management.

His nature writing is notable for its simple directness. His portrayals of various natural environments through which he had moved, or had known for many years, displayed impressive intimacy with what exists and happens in nature. Leopold offered frank criticism of the harm he believed was frequently done to natural systems (such as land) out of a sense of a culture or society's sovereign ownership over the land base – eclipsing any sense of a community of life to which humans belong. A Sand County Almanac
The book was published in 1949, shortly after Leopold's death. One of the well-known quotes from the book which clarifies his land ethic is
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. (p.240)

Excerpts from the Works of Aldo Leopold

The Legacy of Aldo Leopold, 1887-1948 - eruditadellanatura — September 22, 2008 — An introduction to the father of resource management and conservation

Aldo Leopold Celebration - 3747841602 — May 26, 2009 — The year long celebration of Aldo Leopold's arrival in Arizona and New Mexico

Aldo Leopold Nature Center - Foxfires & Fireflies - KelleyVanEgeren — August 02, 2007 — Environmental Education at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

Aldo Leopold's Shack - martyn50 — October 01, 2006 — A day trip to Aldo Leopold's shack near the Wisconsin River. The property which served as the home for the naturalist and inspiration for the Sand County Almanac

by edfrank
Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:57 pm
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Videos from New Jersey

Videos of Trees and Forests from New Jersey

There are a number of videos on the web featuring trees and forests of New Jersey.

Barry Caselli Channel - Many videos have been posted by member Barry Caselli. The index for the Miler Meteor74's videos is Found here: Here are a couple of examples from the over 160 video Barry has posted in his channel as of this writing:

Part 1- Wharton State Forest: Pitch Pine and Shortleaf Pine in the sun
From: MillerMeteor74 | April 11, 2010 |
Just a beautiful day (though a bit warm) in a small section of Wharton State Forest on the north bank of the Mullica River. It's a dry, desert-like area with lots of reindeer lichen and heather.
This is of course in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Beautiful stunted pitch pines
From: MillerMeteor74 | January 09, 2010 |
First, I apologize for getting the date wrong again. I did the same thing in my last video- I said it was 2009. Anyway, I was hiking the orange trail (the nature trail) at Wharton State Forest today, and decided to stop off and check out these trees again. So while there I shot this video. After I was done hiking this trail I then got on the yellow trail, and did part of that, along with parts of a few dirt roads. This is of course in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It's Washington Township, Burlington County.

Egg Harbor City woods, part 1
MillerMeteor74 — October 11, 2009 — Part 1 of a hike in the northern part of Egg Harbor City, NJ, not far from the lake. This is of course in the Ne... MillerMeteor74 — October 11, 2009 — Part 1 of a hike in the northern part of Egg Harbor City, NJ, not far from the lake. This is of course in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The hike starts just east of the city line on Indian Cabin Road. We hike to a trail which is actually Antwerp Avenue on the map. Here's the aerial view on MSN: You can see where the hike starts, on Indian Cabin Road, just east of Bremen Avenue. If you look carefully you can just barely make out the faint green line, which is the Antwerp Avenue trail, where I turned left before shooting part 2

by edfrank
Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:22 pm
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About: Scientists, Artists, and Naturalists


What I am trying to do with this series is to acknowledge the contributions of various people in the development of our understanding of the forest, the origins of the conservation ethic, and artistic interpretations related to the natural world. I want to encourage others to add people to this collection. There are contemporary people who deserve note. I can think of western tree climbers like Steve Sillet, and Bob Van Pelt. Bob should be mentioned just for the quality of his artwork. Roma Dial and others are exploring the tropical canopies. There are historical figure like Gifford Pinchot. Icons in the advancement of scientific knowledge of the natural world. There are pioneers in the environmental movement. There are nature photographers I admire that influence our perception of the natural world. Some of these include John Shaw and James Brandenburg. There are excellent photographers in our own membership including Miles Lowry and Tim Sullivan. There are people who were involved with the emergence of the old-growth movement in the eastern US like Mary Davis and Rob Messick. There are others around the world whose names I I still do not know.

So if anyone wants to add their own nominees for this ad hoc hall of fame, please feel free to do so. A general introductory note can be found in Wilkipedia for most famous people. Older authors may have some of their works available on You can search Youtube for video clips related to that person. Please do not include proprietary or copyrighted material beyond a conservative fair use consideration. Inappropriate entries will be deleted.

by edfrank
Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:30 pm
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway, VA & NC -Future ENTS Projects


Are you really sure you want this to be a group or collaborative project rather than just a project of your own? You seem to have thought about what you want to do and are planning on doing the bulk of the work yourself.

How would you envision this collaborative effort be pursued? Would people go on trips and do reports for a particular section of the parkway? Would the data be compiled through emails or through a section of the BBS? I could create a project forum that would be public or even hidden except for project members.

Would the book include maps and photos as well as descriptions? Is there a particular format for reports that would be more appropriate than another? What information do you see being included when talking about a particular patch of old growth or gnarled forest?

Organization by mile markers is what I was thinking as well for dealing with this essentially linear feature. I would start by breaking down the parkway into smaller segments and compile what information is generally available for each segment. For example would pull a map of that segment. next step would be to generate a list of features found there. Trails, buildings, or other notable characteristics would cataloged. Then we could go back through the reports made to list previously and incorporate them into the information compilation for that particular section. Air photos and maps of particular features could be downloaded from the web and organized similarly.

If there are distinctive characteristics that can be mapped on the air photos, then these characteristics could be mapped and then ground truthed in the field on a future trip.

by edfrank
Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:06 pm
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Bulletin of ENTS, Vol. 5, No. 1 & 2

Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society,
Volume 5, No. 1 &2, Winter and Spring 2010 .


Don Bragg has published the latest issue of the Bulletine of the Eastern Native Tree Society. I want to thank him for all of his hard work in putting this volume together.


A Special Report on the Monroe State Forest, Massachusetts ....................................................................................................................... 1
Don C. Bragg, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service


The ENTS Bookstore ................................................................................................................ 2

June 2010 ENTS/WNTS Joint Meeting in Durango, Colorado Being Planned ............................................................................................................................... 2


Report on Monroe State Forest, Massachusetts ....................................................................................................................... 3
Robert T. Levertt, Eastern Native Tree Society

Using LiDAR to Locate Exceptionally Tall Trees in Western North Carolina ........................................................... ................................................................ 16
Josh Kelly, Jennifer Hushaw, Paul Jost, Will Blozan, Hugh Irwin, and Jess Riddle


Cemetery Run, Meadville, Pennsylvania: January to March, 2009 .............................................................................................................................. 22
Dale Luthringer, Environmental Education Specialist, Cook Forest State Park

The Jenkins Tuliptree: April 2010 ............................................................................................................................... 27
Don C. Bragg, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service

The Lagrone Water Oak: April 2010 ............................................................................................................................... 30
Don C. Bragg, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service

On the Shape of Things to Come .............................................................................................................................. 32
Robert T. Leverett, Eastern Native Tree Society

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONTRIBUTORS ................................................................................................................... 33

by edfrank
Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:27 pm
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway, VA & NC -Future ENTS Projects

ENTS, I sent this post to Bob a few days ago. I wanted to repost it here as part of the documentation of the Project concept.


Since your phone call the other day I have been thinking about your proposal to do a book about the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have been reading materials on the internet about the parkway and rereading accounts of visits to the area. In particular I have reread the posts you made about the Parkway on your trip to and from the Kentucky conference in 2007. It is clear from your writing that you are intimately familiar with at least the southern portion of the parkway and have a fondness for this area. I think the project s eminently doable. You are describing special forests from every high peak in the southern part of the parkway in a conversational narrative. I am sure you combine descriptions of particular sites along the parkway made by other people into a cohesive whole. Some details would need to be worked out, but I would say full steam ahead for the concept. We should contact the National Park Service about working on the book. I have some specific comments.

I would really like to see the Skyline Driver and Shenandoah National Park included as part of the project. Perhaps this section overall is not as spectacular as the southern parkway in terms of relief, but its inclusion is worthwhile for several reasons. First the Skyline drive is contiguous with the Blue Ridge Parkway. It follows the same ridgeline, the geology is similar, the history of land use is similar, and the forests are comparable. People coming from the north typically will travel down the Skyline drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway and treat them as a single highway. An advantage of including the Skyline Drive is the fact that as part of Shenandoah National Park the area is better documented than is the area along the parkway. There are multiple reports dealing with the geology, the forests and the history of the park, while the materials relating to the parkway proper are much more limited. If the book is organized from north to south, this will along a much more detailed background to be prepared for the book than would be possible for just the parkway section.

This area of the road perhaps is not as spectacular as the southern parkway, but it does contain several outstanding examples of old growth and gnarled forests. Places like Old Rag are topographically prominent in the sense of the Peakbagger’s criteria. The height from the top to the base is several thousand feet and is very steep. In addition it has gnarled, old forests, ad some unique geology.

Forests of Shenandoah National Park

Today Shenandoah NP is greater than 95% forested. Over half of the land is dominated by either chestnut or red oak forests situated on the ridge tops and upper slopes. Mid-slope positions support areas of mixed hardwood forests that include maple (Acer spp.), birch (Betula spp.), ash (Fraxinus spp.), and basswood (Tilia americana) trees. Yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) forests are found on the lower slopes and along streams. Approximately 20% or 267 of the vascular plant species documented in the Park are trees or shrubs. These species are most noticeable when their leaves change color in the Fall, but can be appreciated all year long. Early spring finds serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) blooming, the white blossoms visible for long distances through the leafless forest. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is one of the most common understory shrubs within the Park, and it is well known for its abundant pink blooms in June.
There are some older documents that would be worthwhile trying to locate.

Beginning in 1934 the ECW (CCC) program hired an Assistant Forester, R. B. Moore, to assess the condition of the proposed park area. Over the next several years, using the labor of CCC enrollees, Moore mapped the forest or vegetative cover on 172,828 acres of the proposed park. Dividing the land into watersheds, Moore defined 16 forest cover 6 types and five age classes.7 Known forest fires were also mapped. The data were published on May 29, 1937 as "Forest Type Map Write-Up by Watersheds, Shenandoah National Park."

In the detailed descriptions of the watersheds, Moore discussed the existing vegetative associations, soil types and conditions, reproduction of species, fire hazard potential, insect and fungal pests, and past history. Although he recognized that much of the park had been logged in the past, he identified eleven watersheds, or parts of watersheds, that retained significant forest communities with no evidence of previous logging activity: Hogwallow Flats, Hogback (south side), Beahms Gap (south and east sides), Pass Run to Shaver Hollow (upper slopes), the Robinson River watershed, Staunton River, Big Run, Loft Mountain (east side), Hangman Run, Devils Ditch and the Upper Conway River, and the lower slopes of Cedar Mountain. Although these areas indicated no evidence of former logging, many did show the effects of the wildfires that swept across the mountain in 1930, 1931, and 1932, possibly aggravated by the worst drought in Virginia history.

note: Although Moore stated that there was no evidence of former logging in the Staunton River watershed, basing his field determination on the evidence of stumps, it is known that narrow gauge railroad track was laid up the watershed for logging. Perhaps the loggers took downed trees and/or dead chestnuts which would not have left significant evidence of removal.

To summarize Moore (1937) identified these areas as old growth forest:

1. Hogwallow Flats

2. Hogback (south side),

3. Beahms Gap (south and east sides),

4. Pass Run to Shaver Hollow (upper slopes)

5. Robinson River watershed,

6. Staunton River,

7. Big Run,

8. Loft Mountain (east side),

9. Hangman Run,

10. Devils Ditch

11. Upper Conway River,

12. lower slopes of Cedar Mountain.

a. Moore, R. B. (1937). "Forest Type Map Write-Up by Watersheds, Shenandoah National Park."

b. Berg, L.Y. and R.B. Moore. (1941). Forest cover types of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. July 1941. USDI-NPS, Region One.

Although the forests of the Northern Blue Ridge lack the floral diversity that is characteristic of the Southern Blue Ridge forest, the climate, topography, and geology gives rise to an interesting flora, including areas where some typically northern species reach their southern limit (Braun 1950; Mazzeo 1966b; Ludwig et al. 1993). For example, balsam fir, speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa), bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Bebb's sedge (Carex bebbii), and bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) occur at or near their southern or southeastern range limit in SHEN (NPS 1998). In addition, gray birch (Betula populifolia), leathery grape-fern (Botrychium multifidum), hemlock parsley (Conioselinum chinense), highland rush (Juncus trifidus), mountain sandwort (Minuartia groenlandica), three-toothed cinquefoil (Sibbaldiopsis tridentata), white mandarin (Streptopus amplexifolius), and narrow false oats (Trisetum spicatum) are long-range boreal disjuncts occurring in isolated, high-elevation stations in SHEN. By contrast, catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense) reaches its northern limit in the park (NPS 1998).

In A NATURAL RESOURCE ASSESSMENT FOR SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK - Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR—2006/071 by Carolyn G. Mahan, December 2006
pdf2.pdf Old Growth -Current Status and Significance: Due to past land-use history, the old-growth (>200 years old) stands that still persist in SHEN are few and small in size. Winstead (1995) described 13 areas in SHEN that may be classified as old-growth stands and 12 stands that may be old-growth or contain individual old-growth trees. Limberlost is perhaps the most famous and most frequently visited old-growth area in SHEN. Unfortunately, most of the old-growth trees in Limberlost died as a result of hemlock woolly adelgid infestation, and most standing dead hemlocks along the trail were removed in 2003. Other stands of old-growth forest are located along the Upper Staunton River and at the headwaters of Pocosin Run (Winstead 1995). The Upper Staunton River site was dominated by hemlocks and has also been decimated by the hemlock woolly adelgid. The Pocosin Run site is unique in that it is dominated by red oak and chestnut oak, rather than the more typical eastern hemlock and tuliptree overstory. Braun (1950) and Fievet et al. (2003) described White Oak Canyon as containing an extensive area of undisturbed forest at the time of park establishment. However, Winstead (1995) noted that no large stands of virgin timber had been identified in the canyon, although large oaks and hemlocks are found scattered along the White Oak Canyon Trail.

a. Winstead, R. 1995. Old-growth report: Shenandoah National Park. Working document. Shenandoah National Park. Luray, VA.

It would be worthwhile to try and obtain a copy of this Winstead (1995) document. It was a working document in 1995, but I have not found any place where it has been incorporated into any more recent reports.

Although Winstead (1995) documented many individual old-growth trees and stands in the park, he also identified several areas that still need to be visited to confirm the presence of old-growth trees. In addition, the exact age of many of the stands and individual trees is unknown because tree coring is not complete. Most investigation of potential old-growth sites in the park has been driven by the discovery of large trees. Other studies, however, have demonstrated that, on xeric sites, chestnut oaks of pedestrian size (< 40 cm dbh) may be 200–300 years old and that a number of xeric oak stands in the Central Appalachians have never been logged because of the poor growth form of their trees (Fleming and Moorhead 2000).

a. Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead. 2000. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Peters Mountain area, James River Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Richmond. 195 pp.

Certainly this would be another worthwhile document to obtain. It would be a second confirmation of the presence of the unidentified old growth oak systems we have both talked about along the ridgetops. Perhaps it would specifically identify other locations or provide additional information that would be helpful in this project.

There are other forested types that can be mentioned if there is access for the public along trails that would not adversely impact the resource:

Barrens, Boulderfields, and Exposed Rock Vegetation Types

Current Status and Significance: Due to the mountainous terrain at SHEN there are distinctive vegetation associations correlated with exposed and/or loose rock, infertile, minimal soils, and low moisture gradients. The plant species that are found on these locations vary depending on elevation, substrate type, soil type, aspect, and degree of exposure, but tend to occur as stunted forests, shrublands, or herbaceous vegetation, and are associated with diverse lichens and high (>50%) surface rock cover. Some examples of these associations present at SHEN include the Central Appalachian High-Elevation Boulderfield Forest, the High-Elevation Outcrop Barren, the High-Elevation Heath Barren, the Central Appalachian Basic Boulderfield Forest, and the globally rare and endemic High-Elevation Greenstone Barren (Young et al. 2005).

The High-Elevation Greenstone Barren vegetation association is endemic to SHEN and is found mostly above 1,000 m (3,281 ft) on exposed metabasalt (greenstone) cliffs and ledges. This vegetation type is listed as a G1 community (critically imperiled globally) by NatureServe and the Natural Heritage network. On lower slopes where massive exposures of Catoctin metabasalt (greenstone) occur at low elevations, eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and white ash are the characteristic trees associated with the Central Appalachian Circumneutral Barren (Massey 1968; Young et al. 2005). This vegetation association is also visible just outside park boundaries on steep or westerly facing slopes.

Pitch pine and table mountain pine exist as a climax community type on xeric sites along ridge lines throughout the Appalachians. These pines can persist as the dominant tree for several decades; however, fire is necessary for regeneration and recruitment at these sites. Periodic, high-intensity fires will deter hardwood species such as red oak species from invading, while encouraging germination of pine seeds. Futhermore, pine stands may regenerate from adjacent seed sources after fire, although the possibility of post-fire invasion of hardwoods, and subsequent replacement of pine, needs to be considered. Due to the severe conditions at these sites, nonnative plant competition is minimal.

In addition to these are isolated forests containing balsam fir and its associations. I believe there is a hiking trail along the parkway leading to a balsam fir forest.

There are open areas and fields – most notably Big meadows in Shenandoah National Park. These could be mentioned in passing as part of the north to south descriptions:

Big Meadows is a 53.6-ha (134 -ac), ridge-top meadow located at an elevation of 1,067 m (3,500 ft) along Skyline Drive in SHEN. Rare plant populations, historic settlement sites, and the open character of the landscape impart natural and cultural values to the meadow. As the only large non-forested area in the park, the meadow is also a haven for wildlife and plants that need open habitat. Big Meadows probably persisted in its open state for perhaps the past 10,000 years (Wilhelm 1969 [who also states that it was once 405 ha {1,000 ac} in size.] Lambert 1989; Moore 2003). Big Meadows is only 0.06% of the size of the entire park, but it supports populations of 18% of the state-listed rare plant species in the park. Although not all of Big Meadows is classified as a wetland, the rare Blue Ridge Mafic Fen alliance is located in the lower, groundwater-saturated parts of the meadow on both sides of Skyline Drive. The Mafic Fen contains eight plant species of special concern, including several sedges (Heffernan 1999).

These wet areas ad fens are prone to damage from visitation, so unless there is a developed trail or facilities there allowing visitation without damage, there locations should not be included.

Some other references:

a. Young, J. A., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2005. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Draft final report. U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center. Kearneysville, WV.

b. Massey, A. B. 1968. Notes relative to plant ecology in Virginia. Castanea 33:161–162.

c. Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. The Blakiston Co. Philadelphia, PA.

Some specifics on the book concept:

1. In documenting the old growth and special forests, all of the known forests should be included, but an emphasis should be placed on those that are accessible by the general public via hiking trails.

2. There should be a section on low-impact hiking

3. I would like t see, and would be willing to write a short chapter or section on the Physiography and geology of the park ad parkway as the nature of the forests are directly related to the physiographic setting and geology of their location

4. There should be a section or short chapter on the human cultural history of the park ad parkway.

5. There should be a section or short chapter on the history of the park ad parkway itself, i.e. the conceptualization, planning, and construction of the roadway.

6. There should be a short guide to the typical flowering times of various shrubs and for fall foliage. If this book is directed at the general public, this is information they would want to find in the book.

7. There should be a brief overview of the wildlife and birdlife found in the park and along the parkway.

Edward Frank
Western Pennsylvania
by edfrank
Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:21 am
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Allegheny River Islands Wilderness, PA

Allegheny River Islands Wilderness, PA

On Tuesday April 20, 2010, Carl Harting and I visited three islands that are part of the Allegheny River Island Wilderness in north-central Pennsylvania. Originally the trip had been planned for three people, but at the last moment Dale Luthringer was forced to drop out because of problems with a kidney stone. Perhaps this was all for the better, because while I have had successful trips with either Carl or Dale, each time the two of them are on a trip it seems to rain. Today, whether the result of the missing third or not, it was a beautiful day. I had visited the wilderness on several previous occasions. We planned to visit three major islands Courson Island, King Island, and Baker Island and perhaps some smaller ones if we had time. Carl had not been to any of these islands before.

Courson Island

We stopped and borrowed Dale’s canoe early in the morning, loaded it atop my van, and we were off. Carl drove his vehicle as well, so that we could accomplish the needed logistics. The first goal of the day was Courson Island. This is the fourth of seven islands that make up the wilderness. It is 62 acres in size, 0.9 miles in length, and 0.1 miles in width, and generally paramecium shaped.

Courson Island

The goal for the day was to look for new larger trees than had been previously documented and to try and measure additional species that were not documented on the previous trip. I had visited the island once previously on a trip with Dale Luthringer and Anthony Kelly on September 4, 2007 Because of limited time and the goal of visiting several different islands today, Carl and I decided to put in at a Fish Commission access point named Bonnie Brae immediately upstream of Courson Island. We dropped Carl’s vehicle off at the Tidioute Borough Access and headed north. The river level was down and flowing slowly. The water surface was still and mirror-like. The island was but a short paddle and soon we reached the upstream end of the island. Debris from the winter flooding formed a barrier across the tip of the island and behind it laid a mass of multiflora rose briars. I joked with Carl that we needed to go forth and surmount this insurmountable barrier. Carl has a quiet personality, reminiscent of Clark Kent, and serves as a foil for my flights of hyperbole and rambling as we explore. Just beyond the flood debris barrier is a catalpa tree we found on the first trip. This is the only one we have encountered on any of the islands and seems out of place here. Unfortunately the leaves had not yet opened and I am still unsure if it is a northern or southern catalpa. If native it must be a northern catalpa, but on the other hand southern catalpas are commonly planted as ornamentals. We continued down the main portion of the island. Carl located a slippery elm another addition for the species list. I added a nice black willow, another unmeasured species, near the downstream end of the island. The black willow was a respectable specimen at 8. 4 feet in girth and 74.5 feet I height. We measured a few other tree specimens along the way. Carl pushed the height of the previously measured white ash a couple of more feet. We measured a nice fat butternut not located on the previous trip as well. This tree turned out to be just over 86 feet tall - the tallest yet found on any of the islands.

Butternut and Carl Harting, Courson Island - at 86.02 feet it is the tallest butternut measured on the Allegheny River Islands.

On my first trip to the islands I had become fascinated with the large hawthorn trees growing in the islands. Looking at them last year while on Crull Island with Dale, I became convinced that there were two different species of hawthorn present. They had distinctly different branching patterns, but at the time, and again this spring the leaves and flowers were not yet out. The large specimens we had identified as Dotted Hawthorn (Crataegus punctata), but the other species has yet to be identified. The identification of hawthorn species is a mess with as many as a thousand varieties identified by some sources, and at least a few dozen listed by more conservative accounts.

False Hellebore

Exploration in the early spring is much easier than in the autumn after a season of growth. We found ourselves hiking across open areas of newly opened Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). Intermixed with the native skunk cabbage were masses of False hellebore (Veratrum viride). Scattered here and there were Virginia bluebell flowers (Mertensia virginica) and likely are white-flowering Cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine [Dentaria] concatenate). Invasive plants were pervasive on the island. There were large open areas of matted down invasive fields Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) was present. We pushed through clumps of multiflora roses (Rosa multiflora), some of these roses reached twenty feet or more as they climbed into the trees. Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) bushes were ever present. On this trip, fortunately for us the 12 – 15 foot high barrier of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) that thwarted much of our travel on the first trip had been knocked down by the winter season and we were able to explore several new areas.

Cluster of large trees in new section, Coutson Island. Carl is standing beside the 136.5 foot tall sycamore.

One of these newly accessible areas was a small semi-island section that intermittently separated from the main portion of the island during periods of high flow. On this occasion a shallow stream a few inches deep was all we needed to cross to see this section. There were some really nice sycamores and silver maple trees here. Carl measured one sycamore to just over 135.5 feet, while I simultaneously found a top in another 43 yards straight up, from a position 7.5 feet above the base of the tree. From the side I achieved a similar result for this tree with a height of 135.8 feet. There were several others in the 130 foot class. These two trees were ten feet taller than any we found on the initial trip two years ago.

Carl’s 123 foot silver maple, Courson island

Immediately adjacent to these trees was a nice silver maple Carl found at 123.2 feet in height. In 2005 Dale documented a silver maple near King Island at 123.3 feet tall making it the tallest known in the northeast at the time. This was a silver maple of almost the same height. However on April 02, 2009 Dale and I found a taller silver maple at 128.9 feet on Thompson Island, a few miles upstream and also part of the Allegheny River Island Wilderness, but this specimen is still an exceptionally tall silver maple. From this point we headed back to the canoe. Since the water flow was relatively still Carl and I opted to paddle back upstream to the van. Ducks and geese swimming in the river fled before us as we paddled. I gave Carl the title of “Duck Frightener.” The original plan was to continue down to McGuire Island and on to the Tidioute takeout. This change saved us some car shuffling quite a bit of time we could devote to King and Baker Islands later that afternoon.

New measurements from April 20, 2010

Rucker Height Index - the black willow at 74.5 and the butternut at 86 fet are the tallest of each species we have found in the Allegheny River Islands system.

King Island


We dropped Carl’s vehicle off at the takeout at the Tionesta Fish Hatchery, and grabbed quick bite to eat at a Subway nearby before heading back on the river. I hoped to find someplace we could put in above Baker Island to save us the long paddle down from West Hickory. This would bypass King Island, but in low water the island can be reached wading across a short and shallow cut-around the west side of the island. So I opted to drive out the dirt road along the west side of the river. Unfortunately the terrain was steep and the only good place to put into the river was from a grassy area posted by the inhabitants. So we ended up putting in at the west Hickory Access anyway. From here we paddled down to King Island. King Island is 36 acres in size and nestled against the western bank of the Allegheny River. In spite of several trips to King Island we had not yet collected enough tree species to generate a R 10 Height Index. The main goal of hitting King Island today was to locate and measure at least a tenth species for the index, and hopefully to replace the relatively short dotted hawthorn on the list with a taller species.

From visiting many islands in the Allegheny River, including not only islands in the Allegheny River Islands Wilderness, but on several U. S. Forest Service islands, and private islands, certain assemblages of trees can be expected to be found. The predominant species found on the lower sections of the islands are American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum). Black willow (Salix nigra) and American basswood (Tilia Americana) are also found in these areas in more limited numbers. These are all species that survive or thrive from the periodic flooding of the river. They often have multiple stems in the lower areas from this flood damage, or in some case continue to grow after they have fallen on their side. Their growth is not limited to these low areas and the largest specimens of each species are often found in higher areas in central portions of the islands. Other species found commonly on all the islands include Dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata), hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), butternut (Juglans cinerea), white ash (Fraxinus americana), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). Species found on most islands, but not all include Common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), and Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). Other species found sporadically included Red oak (Quercus rubra), Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), Black walnut (Juglans nigra), American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), and Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). White pine (Pinus strobus was found on three islands that had particularly high areas that rarely flooded, and was absent from all the other lower islands. A number other species were only found on a single island or were only found on Hemlock Island, a private island with a large area much higher above the flow level than any of the other islands visited.

Carl and I put into the island about midway down the east side. Here is a large open area fringed by some of the largest trees on the island. These include a large single stem silver maple to 18.1ft CBH x 104.3ft high, a bulbous six stem silver maple at 20.8ft CBH x 103ft tall, several more large silver maples, a couple of beautiful sycamores, and a dotted hawthorn with a girth of 6.1 feet, height of 39.3 feet, and a spread of 43.5 feet.

National champion dotted hawthorn, King Island

I submitted it as the national champion dotted hawthorn in 2007, but it has yet to show up in the American Forests listings. The accounts of my first trip on September 5, 2007 can be found on the ENTS website:

Carl Harting and a 18.1 foot girth, 104.3 foot tall silver maple, King Island.

I wanted to show Carl this pocket of magnificent trees. The trees across most of this island are nice, but not particularly tall. The island can easily be reached by wading during times of low water, so I did not want to spend large amounts of time remeasuring already documented trees. The goal was to add a couple of species to those already documented from the island so that a Rucker Index could be calculated. With the wide variety of species found on these islands I was optimistic we could add several new species to the list. Carl and I made a quick circuit of the island and looked pretty hard, but unfortunately the only new species we managed to add to the list was black locust. A cluster of trees in the 100 foot range was located near the upper end of the island.

This 100.72 foot tall black locust is the tallest we have measured in the Allegheny River Islands

This made ten species for the island, but the last species - the dotted hawthorn – was still only 39.5 feet tall and the resulting RHI10 will be depressed in relation to those of the other major islands. I will need to return again sometime and find another taller species.

Rucker Height Index for King Island

Baker Island

From King Island we pushed off and headed down to Baker Island. Baker Island is one of the larger islands in the wilderness at 67 acres. I had previously visited Baker IslandOn September 5, 2007 on the trip reported above. In addition Dale and I managed to wade to the island in June 2008 to remeasure the tallest sycamore found there. This American sycamore is 147.7 foot tall, 12.1 foot girth making it the tallest American sycamore in PA. (Dale remeasured the tree in October 2009 to a new height of 148.3 feet.)


On the paddle down to the island the stark contrast could be seen from trees on the river shore ad those on the islands themselves.

Eastern bank of the Allegheny River.

Along the shore side of the river the trees consisted of a large percentage of hemlocks. White pines were present. The dominant deciduous tree was red maple. Here and there were scattered bright white flowering Juneberry and black cherry. On the forest floor we had found areas just covered with white flowered trilliums and ferns. All of these species were absent or very uncommon on the islands. A scene of the island shorelines included sycamores, silver maples, maybe some willows and hawthorns. There were open areas of invasive reed canary grass and the remnant stems of Japanese knotweed. There was a completely different character between the two areas.

Again as with the other islands the goal was to add some new tall trees and add some additional species to the data set for the island. We put in at the top end of the island. Almost immediately upon entering the forest Carl came across a white ash. This was a species missing from the island listings. This was not so much the case of not seeing any on previous trip, but simply one of bypassing a modest specimen in anticipation of finding a larger one later. The species simply was not measured. Carl is an excellent at tree measurements, and I believe he is better at tree identification that I, especially when many of them have not yet leafed out. In the open areas covered by reed canary grass mats we commonly found bitternut hickory. These mostly were young specimens with relatively smooth bark. Unopened buds had their distinctive yellow buds. Butternut was also present. Its bark looks similar to the diamond patterns of white ash, but with the ridges appearing as if they were smooshed flat by a butter knife.

Old butternut on Baler Island

We headed down the length of the island adding a new tree here and there. I led us to the location of the tallest sycamore to show Carl. In the immediate area were several other trees noted on previous trips, including a slingshot shaped sycamore, a very nice common hackberry, and a sugar maple. I directed us over to several basswoods along the western side of the island. Baker Island was hit by the major category IV or V tornado that swept through the state in 1985. Dale had a book with a nice photo of the damage to the downstream half of the island from the tornado. It turned out that Carl had given him the book. Near the edge of where the tornado winds had knocked down most of the tree I had previously documented a fat 10.7 foot girth, 68 foot tall basswood which had had its top ripped off by the tornado. On this trip I found that again the tree had lost about half its remaining height to wind damage. The fallen tree top lay on the shore.

Large dotted hawthorn

There was a large spreading hawthorn nearby. I am always impressed by the twisted trunks. In these larger specimens they look as if they are made of a series of thick ropes twisted together to form the trunk. From here we headed down toward the downstream end of the island. There were several fallen trees I had noted on previous trips wanted to photograph. Carl measured a nice slippery elm along the way.

Black willow with fallen trunk

I measured a black willow toward the end of the island at 57.10 feet. This particular black willow had fallen over at some time in the past and branches grew upward the fallen 10 foot trunk lying on the ground to form new trunks.

Sycamore with new trunks formed from former limbs.

Also in the area were a series of fallen sycamores lying on the ground. These also had former branches growing from upward from fallen tree to form new trunks. One thing I had wanted to check out was whether or not these new trunks were growing new root systems or whether they were just feeding off the roots still remaining from the original tree.
The first of several specimens examined did not appear to be regrowing roots; however one fallen tree had two large branches that did seem to be growing new roots from their base. I did not have a shovel to dig them up, but to all appearances these secondary trunks were growing their own root systems. I had previous described these types of trees in my multitrunk and other tree form classification system as “Category 6: Fallen trees”:

Fallen American sycamore with apparent rooting new trunks

As we walked back to the canoe we passed several trees with shaggy bark and very fine branching. After some debate we decided these were simply willows that had not yet leafed out.

Black Willow

In an old meander channel cutting across a portion of the island was a water pond complete with lily pads and many, many turtles. These dove into the water and hid upon out approach, thus earning Carl the additional approbation of “Turtle Scarer”. Walking back to the canoe I could think about the day.

April 20, 2010 measurements from Baker Island

Rucker Height Index for Baker Island

Things had gone very well. The weather had been beautiful. We had accomplished most of the goals I want to complete. We found big trees and small. We had a day with the background filled sound with sounds of flowing water, wind, and waterfowl. We had seen a mature bald eagle flying across the river and geese winging northward. Carl had caught sight of an otter and ducks swam before our canoe as we paddled.

River scene from Baker Island looking upstream

We returned to the canoe and headed downstream to the pull out at Tionesta. We passed No Name Island – the last of the islands making up the wilderness on our way to Tionesta. None of us had visited the island yet, but from the canoe it can be seen that it is a low lying island. The trees are generally short and do not appear to be young in age. We could see sycamore, silver maple, and black willow. It was getting late and we opted not to stop. There is a highway pullout on Route 62 along the eastern bank of the river with a sign dedicated to environmentalist Howard Zahniser. This pull out lies immediately opposite No Name Island and a canoe can be put in there on a future trip to hit this 10 acre island to complete the last of the wilderness islands. The rest of the trip to the pull out was uneventful. We loaded the canoe and returned it to Dale back at Cook Forest.
by edfrank
Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:02 pm
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Pulsation of Northern lights in Fairbanks (5 April 2010)

Breakup and pulsation of Northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska (5 April 2010)

Micrometeorologist — April 05, 2010 — Time-lapse movie of the breakup and pulsation of the Northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska. Nikon D90, SIGMA 10mm F2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM, 10mm, F/2.8, Manual, ISO3200, 1.6sec, Interval: 2sec. This movie is 10 fps and thus 20 times faster than actual.
BGM: Lords of the Sky - Celestial Aeon Project

License of music
by edfrank
Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:38 pm
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Nature and Animal Webcams

Nature Webcams Portal -

Animal Webcams Portal -

Hummingbird Nest - Phoebe is a Channel Island Allen (S.s. sedentarius) hummingbird in Orange County, California. She has been laying 4 to 5 clutches each year for several years and I've been broadcasting her nest since 2007.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - The live webcam provides views about The Look Rock -

The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest Webcam - View of the birds from The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest, Philadelphia. The birds are back in the city for your viewing pleasure. The Franklin does not receive revenue nor is it responsible for any advertising content on Ustream.

Volcano live at Thorolfsfell - You can see the volcano eruption on Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. This camera is at Þórólfsfell, at the north of Eyjafjallajökull. The material from the camera is sent through Milas connections in the area.

Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility Webcam - View of The Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility (WRCCRF) from Crane Tower, University of Washington.

by edfrank
Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:11 pm
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World's biggest beaver dam discovered in northern Canada

World's biggest beaver dam discovered in northern Canada

by Michel Comte and Jacques Lemieux Michel Comte And Jacques Lemieux – Wed May 5, 7:46 pm ET

OTTAWA (AFP) – A Canadian ecologist has discovered the world's largest beaver dam in a remote area of northern Alberta, an animal-made structure so large it is visible from space. Researcher Jean Thie said Wednesday he used satellite imagery and Google Earth software to locate the dam, which is about 850 metres (2,800 feet) long on the southern edge of Wood Buffalo National Park

by edfrank
Thu May 06, 2010 10:28 pm
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Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano burst into life on March 20, 2010. By April 21st, the eruption had quieted, but some ash emissions continued. The volcano resumed vigorous activity in early May.

*** MODIS(Terra) image from May 07, 2010 (Posted on May 07, 2010 6:17 PM)

*** MODIS(Terra) image from May 06, 2010 (Posted on May 06, 2010 4:09 PM)

*** MODIS(Aqua) image from May 04, 2010 (Posted on May 06, 2010 10:55 AM)

*** ALI(EO-1) image from May 04, 2010 (Posted on May 05, 2010 4:37 PM)

*** ALI(EO-1) image from May 02, 2010 (Posted on May 05, 2010 11:27 AM)

by edfrank
Mon May 10, 2010 7:09 pm
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Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement



I found this notice from The Nature Conservancy:

Historic Agreement Conserves 178 Million Acres of Canada’s Boreal Forest
In a history-making agreement to protect one of the last intact, most threatened forests on Earth, 21 timber companies and nine conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, have united in signing the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

This agreement will conserve a huge swath of Canada’s forest lands — 178 million acres that span the continent from the East Coast to the West. Unprecedented in scale, this agreement covers the largest amount of land ever involved in such conservation efforts. It also unites a broad coalition of forestry and conservation organizations in an agreement aimed at sustainably managing the vast forest and its wildlife while meeting the needs of local communities.

A Prototype for Forest Conservation
This agreement, announced in May 2010, comes not a moment too soon: In southern Canada, millions of acres are slated for logging in the coming decade. This agreement assigns multiple layers of protection and sustainable logging to these government-owned lands. The agreement is a prototype for future forest conservation by setting the region on a sustainable path for the management of its forests and forestry-based economy.

An agreement of this magnitude requires the involvement of many key stakeholders: in this case, the Forest Products Association of Canada, which represents approximately 60 percent of Canada’s forest industry in Canada’s Boreal, and nine leading North American environmental non-profit organizations. Over the next three years, the partners – including the Conservancy — will work together, alongside government, First Nations indigenous groups and local communities to develop the guidelines for protected areas, wildlife management and ecosystem-based management that will direct how the forests are managed and logged.

A Forest of Riches
The lands included in the agreement span seven Canadian provinces and are home to some of North America’s most iconic wildlife, including gray wolves, grizzly bears, millions of birds and waterfowl, and herds of woodland caribou, an at-risk species important to the First Nations communities. The region’s many pristine lakes and wetlands store, filter and funnel water to the continent’s great river systems.

Careful management of Canada’s Boreal Forest is also of paramount importance to the rest of the world. At roughly 1.6 billion acres, the Boreal is one of the few forests on Earth large enough to buffer some of the anticipated effects of climate change. By conserving the carbon stored in the forest, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement helps people, wildlife and nature around the world.

Science-Based Conservation
The Conservancy, recognized for its science-based approach to conservation, will provide science leadership in implementing the agreement. It will work with the agreement’s partners to:

•Support eco-system based management and science-based stewardship
•Identify a network of protected areas that can effectively represent the diversity of life in the Boreal
•Develop improved forest practices and forest certification standards
•Develop an online database that acts as an information warehouse
A model of collaborative forest conservation, this agreement conserves one of the last intact and most threatened forests on Earth, ensuring the heath and survival of the natural world that sustains us all.

from Cnadian Boreal Intitative:

Canadian Boreal Initiative applauds framework agreement
to advance protection of Thaidene Nene in the Northwest Territories

Alberta, April 7, 2010: The Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation and Parks Canada today signed a framework agreement which is the next step towards establishing Thaidene Nene as a protected area under the Canada National Parks Act. The community of Lutsel K’e has led this initiative to protect this culturally and ecologically unique area in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, and looks forward to the jobs and economic opportunity this protected area will bring. The agreement was signed today Calgary by federal Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice and Lutsel K’e Chief Steve Nitah


World’s Largest Conservation Agreement Set in
Canada’s Boreal Forests
Canada’s Boreal Forests are vast and rich. Home to seven of the world’s remaining largest intact forests, the world’s largest freshwater reserve and part of the world’s largest terrestrial carbon sink, Canada’s Boreal Forests are truly one of our planet’s last great forest ecosystems. Today’s Agreement is the beginning of a multi-year push to make what is currently an exciting vision, a reality on the ground.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement helps chart a new path for the conservation of this global legacy – one that will ensure large-scale protection, a shift to sustainable forest practices and a green lifeline to participating forestry companies. Relevant to the 70-million hectares/170-million acres of Boreal forests licensed to members of the Forest Products Association of Canada, the Agreement covers 66% of the commercial forests in Canada or an area equivalent to the size of France.

As part of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement:
- Approximately 30 million hectares/70 million acres (area the size of Italy) of woodland caribou habitat is off-limits to road building and logging

- Prioritized conservation planning for woodland caribou herds across the country

- Identification of new potential protected areas with FPAC tenures

- Suspension of targeted “do-not-buy” campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace

By providing the market incentive for green products and engaging suppliers on issues of conservation concern over the past 5-10 years, many of Canopy’s publishing and print partners have been key in helping secure today’s agreement. As we move forward with implementing the initiative, these large corporate paper consumers will play a critical role in ensuring we secure the ambitious conservation goals and is ultimately rewarded in the marketplace.

Canopy wishes to acknowledge the hard work of our environmental allies and participating members of the Forest Products Association in this critical first step. We look forward to continuing our close work together over the next few years as we make the world’s largest conservation agreement a reality for conservation on the ground.

Canadian Boreal Forests Agreement 101 - download PDF

Why we must protect Canada's Boreal - download PDF

10 Years of Results: Protecting Canada's Boreal - download PDF

TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010, Toronto/Montreal, Canada – Today 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmental organizations, unveiled an unprecedented agreement – the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – that applies to 72 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members. The Agreement, when fully implemented, will conserve significant areas of Canada’s vast Boreal Forest, protect threatened woodland caribou and provide a competitive market edge for participating companies.

Under the Agreement FPAC members, who manage two-thirds of all certified forest land in Canada, commit to the highest environmental standards of forest management within an area twice the size of Germany. Conservation groups commit to global recognition and support for FPAC member efforts. The Agreement calls for the suspension of new logging on nearly 29 million hectares of Boreal Forest to develop conservation plans for endangered caribou, while maintaining essential fiber supplies for uninterrupted mill operations. “Do Not Buy” campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the Agreement is being implemented. (continued),cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=31&cntnt01returnid=66

Here also is a petition from Forest Ethics:

Count on me to be a Boreal Watchdog
The ink is drying on what could be the largest conservation initiative in history. ForestEthics and eight other environmental organizations have just signed a historic agreement with the Canadian forest industry to conserve our precious Boreal Forest. It starts with a total moratorium on logging across more than 29 million hectares (71 million acres) over the next three years.

Developing lasting protection proposals for the Boreal Forest, woodland caribou, and our climate will take everyone on board. Will you sign up to become a Boreal Watchdog and let leaders of the Canadian forestry industry know the world is watching this agreement
by edfrank
Tue May 18, 2010 1:06 pm
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My Hand Made Hobbit Hole

My Hand Made Hobbit Hole – Bag End from Lord of the Rings
January 18, 2010 by Maddie Chambers

My name is Maddie Chambers and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. I believe I was about 10 and I was instantly hooked. My Nanan lent me her copy of the Lord of the Rings about 1 year later and I remember thinking that the trilogy leaped into a far more complex world and one that I completely lost myself in. I have read Lord of the Rings about 20+ times now and each time it holds as much magic as the first time.

Anyway I decide to take on this project as part of a college course I was doing part time when my twins boys were 1 year old. The module was called ‘the importance of play’ and we had to make a toy to hand in at the end of the term. Of course me being me, I took it to the extreme and at first I decided to make a little hill with a front door like Bag End. I used to play Warhammer and make scenery and paint the little models so the idea was to make an A4 type size model hill using my Warhammer scenery stuff (foam, static grass etc) I can just hear my friend Andi rolling her eyes at me and calling me ‘geek’, but apparently I was born this way and I don’t think I will ever change lol

Then I thought, well what if I made the roof removable and had a little room inside? then of course I started drawing up plans and added more rooms and then decided ‘what the hell?’ I might as well make a replica of the one from the movie and make it big enough to fit in dolls house type furniture! I decided to make everything by hand – the frame, the garden outside, the furniture (as much as I could), the food and it has been a real labour of love and I have found something I truly enjoy doing.

by edfrank
Sat May 22, 2010 8:51 pm
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UPM Forest Life


I found link about the forest and want to share it with you all.

UPM Forest Life
by edfrank
Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:55 pm
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Re: Borneo: Expedition Big Tree


The note says they were posted 11 hours ago. Here is a 1 minute promo for a program about an expedition to Borneo ( a different one) that aired sometime last fall on the Science Channel here in the US. I didn't see the program, but thought I would post the link to the promo video

Cede Prudente is a professional photographer from Malaysia. Here is his website/blog:

by edfrank
Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:06 pm
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Ascending the Giants Trailer

Ascending the Giants Trailer

A trailer for the short documetary, Ascending the Giants, which features Brian French and Will Koomjian, on their journey to locate and measure a new Oregon State Champion Sitka Spruce Tree. Documentary produced by John Waller of Uncage the Soul Productions

"Ascending the Giants" closing track

by edfrank
Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:27 pm
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Grab Your Kids and Be Out There™, Enjoying Nature

Grab Your Kids and Be Out There™, Enjoying Nature
By Jenny Williams June 5, 2010

To encourage dads to spend more time outside with their kids, the National Wildlife Federation is offering the Be Out There™ pledge. ..
But what to do outside? We’ll run out of ideas, you say. I don’t have time, you claim. Nay, there are plenty of ideas, and even a short amount of time is better than none. The National Wildlife Federation has offered several ideas such as:

•Visit a local garden center and learn about the plants, either by planning an imaginary garden or pretending to be an explorer.
•On a windy day, fly a kite! Watch out for trees and power lines, though.
•Start a collection of leaves, rocks, flowers or other bits of nature.
•Mark out a backyard nature trail and see what nature is in your own yard.
•If it’s wet and muddy, wear old or waterproof clothes and go out and splash around!

A couple more ideas for outdoor time with your kids:

•Go outside and just sit and listen. Watch the insects and animals, and look closely at plants. You might be amazed at what has been around you all along.
•Walk anywhere in nature and consider and discuss how what you see has changed over the seasons. Some plants shed their leaves, animals hibernate, insects live and die.
•Any of the 30 outdoor play activities from my recent post could easily include dads, and they may even take you back to your own childhood.

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by edfrank
Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:56 pm
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Nalini Nadkarni

Nalini Nadkarni is the author of Rainforests, with J. Johnson, Monteverde: The Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest, with N.T. Wheelwright, and Forest Canopies, with M.L. Lowman. She teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at The Evergreen State College and is President of the International Canopy Network. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Natural History, Glamour, and National Geographic and she has appeared in numerous television documentaries. In 2002, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship to better extend her work to the public.


Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees
by Nalini Nadkarni

World-renowned canopy biologist Nalini Nadkarni has climbed trees on four continents with scientists, students, artists, clergymen, musicians, activists, loggers, legislators, and Inuits, gathering diverse perspectives. In Between Earth and Sky, a rich tapestry of personal stories, information, art, and photography, she becomes our captivating guide to the leafy wilderness above our heads. Through her luminous narrative, we embark on a multifaceted exploration of trees that illuminates the profound connections we have with them, the dazzling array of goods and services they provide, and the powerful lessons they hold for us. Nadkarni describes trees' intricate root systems, their highly evolved and still not completely understood canopies, their role in commerce and medicine, their existence in city centers and in extreme habitats of mountaintops and deserts, and their important place in folklore and the arts. She explains tree fundamentals and considers the symbolic role they have assumed in culture and religion. In a book that reawakens our sense of wonder at the fascinating world of trees, we ultimately find entry to the entire natural world and rediscover our own place in it.

Arboreality - Tree Blogging
Greetings and welcome to Arboreality, home of the tree blog. Arboreality is a blog about trees, forests, and wood, and everything in between. Join me, Jade Blackwater, to enjoy some of my day-to-day arboreal encounters.

Hidden Among the Trees – The Festival of the Trees 39
Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Welcome to Hidden Among the Trees, the 39th issue of The Festival of the Trees blog carnival. The Festival of the Trees is a periodic revelation of our findings and imaginings from trees, forests, gardens, backyards, orchards, and oases located in different parts of the world. Our purposes are connection, celebration, a sharing of knowledge.

This month I have invited people to seek out what is hidden (or lurking) among the trees, and share a glimpse of a secret with us. By inviting others to reveal a secret, a discovery, or a dream, it is my hope that we can illuminate hidden (or perhaps, merely forgotten) connections between each other and our world.

Conserving the Canopy Video on TED

A unique ecosystem of plants, birds and monkeys thrives in the treetops of the rainforest. Nalini Nadkarni explores these canopy worlds -- and shares her findings with the world below, through dance, art and bold partnerships.

by edfrank
Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:20 pm
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Re: Champion Pitch Pine!, Bradford, NH


The purpose of the American Forests list is primarily to get people involved with the forests. They are doing this in a number of ways, including tree measurement. If there was a requirement that the trees be measured using a laser range finder, then only a handful of people could participate. Using the clinometer/distance method or the stick method allows almost everyone to participate. Their goal is not accuracy, but participation. Toward that end, their height methodology is more appropriate than is ours.

by edfrank
Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:02 pm
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