WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

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PAwildernessadvocate
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WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:32 pm

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/outdoors/ ... ee4c8.html

WV has more old-growth forest than once thought, group believes
Old growth? Wait a minute. For years, West Virginians have been told that the state’s only remaining old-growth forest tracts are in Cathedral State Park and the Monongahela National Forest’s Gaudineer Knob Scenic Area. Wood believes there are more old-growth stands scattered throughout the state, perhaps many more.

“Based on criteria established by the U.S. Forest Service, there are plenty of places in West Virginia that qualify as secondary old-growth forest, where the forest has grown back up after being logged,” he said. “Several areas of secondary old growth have already been identified, and I’m convinced that more will be found.”
From the Thursday, July 26th, 2018 edition of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.


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Don
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Re: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by Don » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:10 pm

PA...
Thought I'd reintroduce Chadwick Oliver and Bruce Larson's text "Forest Stand Dynamics", who after significant study weighed in on the effort to define 'Old-growth'.
They held a somewhat exclusionary view, defining that True Old-growth was the stand responding to the generation that followed a stand-wide disturbance. That of course introduces the nature of disturbance and what role it may play. From my perspective, many man-caused disturbances CAN mimic natural disturbances, but not all do...to the extent that they do mimic natural disturbances, I'd be inclined towards a more inclusive definition, particularly if the larger context here is to employ strategies from Conservation Biology (Preserving existing old-growth, Restoring adjacent resilient lightly disturbed forests to old-growth qualities, Creating corridors between them, and Focusing all forests sufficiently disturbed by less than 'best management forestry practices' to have lost sufficient ecosystem resilience to be appropriate for preservation, restoration, corridor creation).

Good find ! Folks need to jump on these overlooked areas and try fitting the Conservation Biology strategies!
-DB
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Re: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:33 am

Don wrote:Good find ! Folks need to jump on these overlooked areas and try fitting the Conservation Biology strategies!
-DB
Thanks, I found the article referenced on page two of the latest edition of The Highlands Voice, the newsletter of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy:

https://wvhighlands.org/highlands-voice ... 202018.pdf

I had a professor in grad school who was working on projects to accelerate second and third-growth stands in Oregon toward old-growth characteristics through highly selective cutting.
"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: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by Don » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:48 pm

Enjoyed the account of early visitors to the 'laurel hell', of much the same substance for the birch leaf mountain mahogany 'grove' !
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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Re: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by tsharp » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:39 am

PA.Don, NTS:
This article in the Charleston Gazette Mail is a result of push back from may West Virginians on the attempt to open up West Virginia State parks to timber sales. At present commercial timber cutting is not allowed and has not been since the park system was established in 1929. Last winter a bill was introduced in the WV senate to allow timber sales in state parks. It came directly out of the Governor’s office with the director of commerce, “Woody”, Thrasher tasked with pushing through the legislature. All the usual rationales were employed for public consumption - Get rid old diseased trees in over stocked stands, increase better wildlife habitat, decrease fire danger, provides money for park improvements. etc. It went through several iterations in effort to make it more palatable to the general public but it met with almost universal condemnation and never got out of committee hearings.

As a result of this controversy the Old Growth Forest Network provided a welcome tool for drawing attention to various old growth areas in the state parks. Several were dedicated recently including Watauga, Holly River and North Bend with several more being evaluated.

Thrasher was later fired by the governor. Mostly for sitting on thirty million dollars of flood relief money that was not getting to flood victims. However, I think his total ignorance of forestry issues and lack of appreciation of the high regard citizens have of their parks also played a part.

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Re: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by Don » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:12 pm

Turner
Ahh, one of the rare good outcome stories, thanks for bringing this success to our audience!
Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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PAwildernessadvocate
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Re: WV has more old-growth forest than once thought

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:50 pm

Yeah The Highlands Voice had been giving some good coverage to the logging in the state parks proposal issue over the last year or so.

Back in the early to mid 90s some in New York State had been trying to open up the 60,000-acre-plus Allegany State Park to logging too. Natalie Merchant of the 10,000 Maniacs is from nearby Jamestown and she was an outspoken opponent of the plan. (Which never happened.)

It seems the lure of some big trees in some of our state parks around the country periodically leads the timber industry to take another run at these parks from time to time. Evidently it's just too tempting for them not to at least try. They'll try it again somewhere. It will always come up again at some point.
"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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