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Forest history tour

July 24, 2014

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The public is invited to join Dr. Michael Kudish for two programs with a striking contrast on July 25 and 26. Friday, he will introduce the audience to forests least disturbed by people at an indoor program at Morgan Outdoors. Saturday, he will lead a walk in a forest most disturbed by people at Russell Brook, just north of Roscoe. Both programs are free and sponsored by Morgan Outdoors. Register at 845/439 5507 by 5 p.m. Friday, July 25 to reserve a place.

On Friday, July 25 at 7 p.m. is “First Growth Forest in our Backyard.” Hiking over Cabot, Middle, and Mary Smith Mountains, north of the Beaverkill Road near Lew Beach, Dr. Kudish realized much of the summit ridges had never been farmed or logged, making them the westernmost significant first-growth tree stands in the Catskills.

When asked why first-growth forest is special, Kudish said, “There are many reasons. They are rare, so people enjoy seeing these relics of the past. They provide spiritual and aesthetic inspiration for artists, photographers, musicians, poets, writers, philosophers, and they are ecologically simpler than forests disturbed by people, so they serve as controls in forest studies.” For Dr. Kudish “first growth gives me much more insight into what the original forests looked like for thousands of years after deglaciation.

On Saturday, July 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon is “Russell Brook Area Historical Tour.” Meet at the Russell Trailhead off Morton Hill Road north of Roscoe for a leisurely, two-part outing: Part 1 runs 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for folks who’d like a shorter, easier walk. Part 2 is 11:30 to 1 p.m. for those who want more.

Some of the sites include the waterfall on Russell Brook with remains of the power house, the old road (now a trail) into Cables Lake (Trout Pond) with Treyz’ logging roads branching off. We’ll look at how the forest has regenerated in almost a century, remnants of the Treyz Railroad, the foundation of an old schoolhouse, and possibly the Roebling Bridge over the Beaverkill.

Morgan Outdoors is located at 46 Main St., Livingston Manor. For more information call 845/439-5507 and visit www.morgan-outdoors.com.