A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

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dbhguru
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A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:21 am

Hi Folks,

Yesterday, Monica and I stopped over for a stroll in Cook Forest, PA. The attachment provides a narrative plus photos.
Viva La Cook.

Bob
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A Stroll in Cook Forest State Park.docx
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Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Don
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Re: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by Don » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:03 pm

You guys were clearly 'Cooking' !
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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Rand
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Re: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by Rand » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:49 pm

It is a photographer’s dreamscape, and stands in stark contrast to the younger, largely over-cut woodlands of Allegheny National Forest, where striking images are the rare exception as opposed to the rule. I’ll say little about the private woodlands of the area, except that they are uniformly uninteresting.
I've road my bike up along the clarion river and the second growth woodlands are just..sad in comparison.

Joe

Re: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by Joe » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:57 am

Rand wrote:
It is a photographer’s dreamscape, and stands in stark contrast to the younger, largely over-cut woodlands of Allegheny National Forest, where striking images are the rare exception as opposed to the rule. I’ll say little about the private woodlands of the area, except that they are uniformly uninteresting.
I've road my bike up along the clarion river and the second growth woodlands are just..sad in comparison.
That's almost always true. Often they are worse than sad- they are ugly because they were high graded, some multiple times. If not high graded, they are, to me, rather boring- but I see the great potential in them. If nicely thinned, they can be quite nice- after all, a pretty tree is nice whether ancient or young- but so few people ever see a nicely "managed" forest that they think it's impossible.
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by dbhguru » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:50 am

Joe,

I have a slightly different take on the issue. I've been visiting Cook Forest State Park since 1994 and regularly observe visitor responses to the place and have talked to many people on the trails, in the picnic areas, at the headquarters, etc. It is my humble opinion that the vast majority of visitors to the Park, let alone those just passing through on Route 36, are barely aware of the significance of the Cook Forest. And now, here is the leap forward, most people today will be only marginally aware, if aware at all, of forested properties (national, state, private) in terms of their history of use, abuse, importance, etc. A roadside tangle of vines strangling a corridor of trees or an unmanaged plantation of pines or spruces will have as much impact as what they see in Cook, which is sad to say, little impact at all, i.e. the forest only registers as a green backdrop, like a ho-hum wallpaper - taken for granted. If this seems unduly pessimistic or critical, it is what I've observed. When the entire population of a region, state, or the U.S. is brought to bear, a very small percentage determines the importance and fate of special places like Cook. A few good people make the difference, and that is certainly been the history of Cook Forest. Take away Anthony Eden Cook, grandson of Anthony Wayne Cook, and Cook would have been in trouble on multiple occasions, as the state was about to grant expansion of high impact recreational projects.

Most visitors to Cook Forest go there because it is a state park with recreational opportunities, to attend a special event, because some one has told them about it, because of the Clarion River, etc. They don't go there to see its exceptional forest. Just the way it is. To be sure, a public campaign to promote awareness of a natural, historical, or cultural resource can be pivotal in stopping wholesale abuse, but that doesn't translate into an abiding appreciation of a forest like Cook's. This places an extra responsibility on those who treasure a place for what it really has to offer.

Tomorrow, Ray Asselin and I head up to Mohawk Trail State Forest to assist a BBC filming crew video the forest and its old growth and big tree treasures. We'll give a run down in what takes places to BBS members, plus I will ask them the questions you raised in the private email.

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: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by Joe » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:02 am

dbhguru wrote:A roadside tangle of vines strangling a corridor of trees or an unmanaged plantation of pines or spruces will have as much impact as what they see in Cook, which is sad to say, little impact at all, i.e. the forest only registers as a green backdrop, like a ho-hum wallpaper - taken for granted.

Bob
Reminds me of the time I took a ride to NYC with a friend- he had some business there and I went along for the ride. There, he picked up his sister who lives in a condo many stories in the air. On the way up the Taconic Parkway- somehow, we got on the subject of religion. Both he and her are hard core fundies. I always enjoyed discussing the subject with him- but she got aggressive. I tried pointing out the beautiful forests along the road and mentioned how wonderful is the biodiversity out there. She said, "it's just a lot of green stuff- means nothing to me." After all, any day now Jesus will return and bring the elite saved ones like her to paradise- so why bother with all that green stuff?
Joe

Joe

Re: A Stopover at Cook Forest State Park, PA

Post by Joe » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:50 am

dbhguru wrote:They don't go there to see its exceptional forest.
Well, maybe when they see the BBC video, they may finally appreciate a great forest. The BBC makes some of the finest nature documentaries. It's those British intellectuals, like David Attenborough, who have great integrity- along with world class videographers.
Joe

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