Forest Files September 2012
IN THIS ISSUE
Worried About Wolves
After being extinct in the region for decades, Wyoming’s gray wolf population has stabilized since its reintroduction in the mid 1990s, but the animals are now facing another danger. As protection of the wolves shifts from the federal government to the responsibility of the state, the new management plans are being questioned, as they might put the wolves at risk again.
Where can you find 500 species of animals and flowering cottonwood trees bordering a river in the middle of a desert? This rich habitat is called a bosque, and in the U.S., it’s almost always found in the Southwest along the Rio Grande. Unfortunately, this type of environment is being threatened, so every part of the community — from school children to the U.S. Army — is helping to preserve the bosque.
Restoring Southern Conifers
Longleaf pines, a once heavily abundant species in the southeastern U.S., have been harvested away to a fraction of their acreage in the past 400 years. More recently, their strong wood has made them victims in the building of bridges and other structural projects. The species living amongst the trees, such as certain birds and snakes, have also suffered as a result and are becoming endangered.
A Lesson From the Past
Deforestation is not a new issue, relating only to industry and global expansion. The Mayans may have helped bring upon the decline of their own people by removing portions of Central America’s rainforests for agriculture and their growing population. Scientists have recently linked a drop in rainfall and drought during the Mayan period to deforestation.
STANDING TALL: A Historic Inn Surrounded by Big Trees
Hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains is an inn recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. It has 15 miles of hiking trails, a 35-acre lake and daily afternoon tea. Oh, and one national championship-contender and six state champion big trees.
“The history and unique specimens concentrated on one property helps cultivate a nurturing feeling of longtime caring for the property and visitors.”
~Clifford Meads, general manager of High Hampton Inn & Country Club