Photo by Lisa M. Lyons

Dr. Michael Kudish is seen in first-growth forest on Middle Mountain, north of Livingston Manor, NY.   

First-growth forest

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — Morgan Outdoors will host two public programs, one indoors and one outdoors, focused on the Catskill forest. They will be presented by Dr. Michael Kudish, who will give a talk on Saturday, October 13 at 4:30 p.m. and lead a field trip on Sunday, October 14 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Hiking on nearby sections of the Finger Lakes Trail over Cabot, Middle and Mary Smith mountains north of Lew Beach, Dr. Kudish realized large areas of the summit ridges had never been farmed, barked, burned or logged, making them the westernmost significant first-growth tree stands in the Catskills.

When asked why first-growth forest is special, Kudish said: “They are rare, so people enjoy seeing these relics of the past. They provide spiritual and aesthetic inspiration for artists, photographers, musicians, poets, writers and 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 thousands of years ago.”

On the field trip, participants will hike up a nearby Catskill trail to first-growth forest near the summit. The trail is a moderately difficulty uphill, three miles round trip. The group will leave from Morgan Outdoors at 1 p.m. The hike is limited to 12 people, so register early at 845/439-5507 or emailinfo@morgan-out

Concurrently on display at Morgan Outdoors is the exhibition “Streams: Art in Motion,” which highlights the wonders of the Upper Delaware River watershed, where these programs take place. This project is made possible in part with funding from a Sullivan County Arts and Heritage Grant, funded by the Sullivan County Legislature and administered by the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.

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