Saturday, September 28, 2019

Old Growth Forest Event, Simsbury, CT

Simsbury, Connecticut's Belden Forest will be in the spotlight on October 25, 2019. Ecologist and author Dr. Joan Maloof, founder of the national Old-Growth Forest Network, will lead a public induction of Belden into the Network. Belden is Connecticut's very first member of the OGFN, meaning it will forever be available to the public and will never be logged, allowing it to revert to old growth conditions; it's beautiful and already well on its way.

Belden Forest

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Adirondacks on a Higher Level

Bob Leverett (well known for his decades of exploring, measuring, and documenting old growth forests across the country) spent several days in the Adirondacks this August with his wife Monica. Botanist Jared Lockwood and I made our way there separately as well, on a mission to film white pines. Bob chronicles their experience below, in his unique style.

Adirondacks on a Higher Level

by Bob Leverett (Edited by Monica)


It will come as no surprise to our friends that Monica and I are bona fide nature lovers. We each have plenty of other interests, but given the opportunity to choose from a palette of possibilities, both of us inevitably gravitate to nature to maintain our bearings and renew our spirits.

While I am commonly associated with trees, my nature interests are broader. I’m drawn to mountains, forests, the ocean, and charismatic animal species, especially the standouts among them. This is one way of stating that I am attracted more to the superlatives than the ordinary. In contrast, Monica is more balanced. In the past, she was an avid birder, but overall, her interests stay balanced so that she is better able to accept a place for what it is, without the need to make comparisons.

We each have our favorite haunts in which we experience nature at her most complete. A place that we share, near the top of our lists, is the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. For me, and I think Monica as well, my passion for the Dacks continues to grow. I say this because our introduction to them followed different paths. Mine was searching for old growth forests starting in the early 1990s, and Monica’s was in pursuing her camping and canoeing passion. Today, with our limited mobility, we are more into hiking to accessible spots. This suits my need to continue searching for patches of old growth forest and superlative trees, and fits Monica’s capacity for communing with the
spirit of the place. With her it is more the gestalt, which I concede is more balanced than my need to discover, document, and compare.

With this brief introduction, we’d like to share with you the trip that we just completed. It promised to be different from recent trips, and it lived up to its billing. We connected with special people who are devoted to the Adirondacks and their forests, which promises to open a path to expanded explorations.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Film: Eastern White Pine- The Tree Rooted in American History

Four hundred years ago, the first English colonies were established in what would be known as New England, and Virginia. What prompted this to occur? The answer may not be quite what you've always thought. Here are some more questions to contemplate...

  • Why did the King send people three thousand miles from home to settle on this continent? Did things go according to his plan? 
  • What role did the eastern white pine tree (Pinus strobus) play in the venture?

Eastern White Pines

  • What is Riga fir?
  • Why are some New England village commons triangular?
  • What were the "King's Pines" about?

  • What did one of the first colonial flags look like?
  • What led to the American Revolution?
  • What was the "Long Island Express"?
  • What is the tallest living thing in the northeast?
  • How does walking in a white pine forest personally benefit you?

These questions and more will be answered in our new documentary film, "Eastern White Pine - The Tree Rooted in American History". More than two years in the making, it uses archival images, new footage, and aerial views to tell the 4-century story of the eastern white pine's significant contribution to America's founding and history. The white pine's importance to wildlife and people is related by famed bear biologist Lynn Rogers of Minnesota, Trinity College neuroscientist Susan Masino, and nationally known old-growth forest expert Bob Leverett.

The film is currently being scheduled for local screenings in central/southern New England, and will be published later for all to see on our New England Forests Youtube channel. A short trailer can be seen now on the channel (click here), or in the player window below (may not be available in email feeds).

We hope to see you at one of the local screenings!