Old Growth Forest

Accounts of times in which someone has had a spiritual momment or felt they were communing or were one with nature. Experiences that elicited a strong emotional response or moment of gestalt.

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#11)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby AndrewJoslin » Wed May 03, 2017 10:59 pm

mdvaden wrote:So when fire naturally moves through some of these old growth forests and burns much of what's in sight to a crisp, as is normal over centuries, can we assume you find the same renewed feeling walking in there right after a burn?

Because I can to into recovering forests 60 yrs. after logging and get as nice a vibe sometimes as certain old growth areas that burned, or that may not have character that appeals to me on a certain day.

I appreciate old forests left to themselves best for a lot of reasons, but can enjoy forest of all ages.


The difference in North America is that in pre-colonial times a "massive forest fire" would touch only a small percentage of the old-growth. So a natural burn area would indeed be beautiful in the context of the overall forested landscape. Nowadays a massive burn area is deeply threatening to remaining old-growth and is not something easily enjoyed for that reason. Context is everything.
-AJ
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#12)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby Don » Thu May 04, 2017 5:47 pm

Andrew-
Indeed, those pre-settlement old-growth ecosystems that were fire adapted, were characterized by a heterogeneous mosaic of species and a heterogeneous forest structure reflecting the wide array of tree ages/heights...

Today, we have fiddled interminably with the old-growth ecosystems that remain, in the case of the SW, where we have had a century long practice (public lands) of suppressing wildfires (all fires) as quickly as we could.  That has changed for the most part, and both USFS and NPS have embraced the use of wildfire for resource benefit, within weather/fuel moisture/temperature/etc. constraints set by prior environmental concerns.  I was involved in Grand Canyon's WFURB (WildFire Use for Resource Benefit) program, where we established control units based on vegetation type and topography, assigned limits to fire activity based on above constraints, and since 2002 have reintroduced a more natural fire regime to both the North and South Rim's forested ecosystems, indeed, are on the second entry. This was foreseen as the reintroduction of fire needed to be incremental and we didn't foresee being able to even the balance of 100 years of interruption in 5-10 years of reintroduction.

Were we successful?  I think there were as many control units that were 'too hot' as there were those that weren't hot enough, but thankfully they were few and far between.

I'm reminded of the wildfire management classes put on by WAP (William A Patterson) while I was at UMASS Amherst...I'm no longer back there much, but wonder how much of a legacy he left?  
-Don
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#13)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby dbhguru » Fri May 05, 2017 10:46 am

Joe,

 All of the sites in Joan Maloof's network are protected - at some level, and they are all publicly accessible, so they can serve as teaching forests. In Massachusetts, Mohawk Trail State Forest and Bryant Homestead are in the Network. Ice Glen and Mount Wachusett will be added this year. The goal is one forest per county across the USA where there are eligible forests. This is a multi-life time mission.

Bob
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#14)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby mdvaden » Fri May 05, 2017 7:36 pm

sradivoy wrote:I've been to the burned out areas of Yellowstone as well. Ugly as hell. I've also been through the blast zone of Mt. St. Helens which is much more interesting in terms of forest recovery. There is definitely a sense of forest renewal taking place there.


I recall a couple of small burned out groves in Redwood National and State Parks and found the open patches rather interesting and transitional, but the spots were only an acre or two, not hundreds of acres.
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#15)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby Don » Tue May 09, 2017 3:47 pm

Yes, there's a world of difference between the environments of Yellowstone and the Redwoods...the amount of energy (read BTUs) to overcome the moisture rich soils and duff of the redwoods is enormous in comparison to the fire-requiring Yellowstone forest species (predominantly lodgepole pines). A wildfire (lightning?) starting in a redwood grove is likely to put itself out, barring a high wind event accompanying the fire.
The nature of most wildfires is that they don't typically burn as an all consuming front, but can be described as a mosaic of different burn severity classifications (ranging from light, consuming just surficial duff... to burn intensities that consume not only duff, but soil and fuse even the underlying bedrock). In fact, such mosaics in old-growth forest ecosystems reflect the wide array of disturbances that make them what they are today...in the eastern seaboard forests, the path of hurricanes or the spotty nature of 'microbursts' leave their 'calling card' as a mosaic of species and age classifications that 'pioneered' into the new forest openings.  In the West, often it's fire that creates the mosaics that can be accurately described as a making up a horizontal homogeneity of species composition, and over time, a vertical homogeneity of forest structure (sometimes the result of age)...both primary characteristics of old-growth fire-adapted forest ecosystems.
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#16)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby PAwildernessadvocate » Tue May 09, 2017 10:20 pm

Old growth forests of Pennsylvania. (The video is from 1999.)

"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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#17)  Re: Old Growth Forest

Postby Don » Wed May 17, 2017 1:08 pm

Although perhaps extraneous on the surface, I find myself about to embark on a literary journey that inherently does deal with the topic (old-growth forests, has bearing on forest experiences, epiphanies and philosophies). A quote from the preface follows:
“To embattled minds particularly, these pages are dedicated. “Who saves himself from life’s stormy wave” will follow me gladly into the thickets of the forest, into the immeasurable steppes, and out upon the spine of the Andes range. Unto him speaks the world-directing chorus:
“In the mountains is freedom! The breath of the tomb
Cannot climb up to the purest air’s home,
The world is perfect anywhere,
If Humanity’s anguish has not entered there”


Excerpt From: Alexander von Humboldt, Stephen T. Jackson, Laura Dassow Walls & Mark W. Person. “Views of Nature.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/TXgv1.l


And so the journey begins!
-Don
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