It has been a few weeks since the forest summit, and I have been
to write a brief report from my perspective on the event. I also
behind on the website, stuff to do around the house,…..
I arrived at Bob’s house Thursday evening. As I walked in the
room I was greeted by many ENTS who had already arrived: Jess
Dale Luthringer, Will Blozan, Bob Leverett, Carl Harting,
Kelley, Holly Post, Lee Frelich, and one person I didn’t know.
Dale bowed down and intoned “Hail to the all powerful
man I didn’t know was Dr. Michael Kudish. He was going to talk
growth/primary forest in the Catskills and Adirondacks. I heard
account of their days activities at Robinson State Park, general
visiting and getting caught up with everyone. Lee whipped out
drive and said here is 400 years of fire history in the boundary
I pulled out my flash drive on my key chain, and Dale pulled out
flash drive hanging around his neck. Most of the people left
evening to stay at Monica’s. Some of us stayed at Bob’s.
Bob’s son Rob
stopped down later and he talked of the geology and history of
Eventually we all were off to bed.
The next morning Holly, Michael, Anthony, and I went to Dinosaur
Footprints Reservation. This is a small roadside park just a
miles up the road from Bob’s house. At the park, in the shadow
roadway, is a series of dinosaur footprints in a sandy
sign explains there are 134 footprints that make up 27 distinct
dating from 190 million years ago related to tectonics in the
Connecticut River Valley taking place at that time.
Bob met us back at the house around noon, or so and we headed of
Forest Summit so that various presenters in our party could get
Most of us gave Gary Beluzo our flash drives with presentations.
Dr. Michael Kudish
Kudish had a slide show with maps. After the introductions, Dr.
gave his talk. He had slides from the Catskills and Adirondacks.
had charts taped to stands that kept trying to fall over as we
He had large maps taped to the walls. It was a different feel
presentation. He was animated and had series of props he used.
point he donned a train engineers hat and blew a wooden whistle
made train whistle sounds. Very animated and enjoyable.
Dr. Lee Frelich
Next was Lee Frelich’s presentation on forest fire history in
boundary waters of Minnesota. Areas of fire overlaid each other
a complex mosaic over time. The final portion of the program
the Cavity Lake Fire from last summer (2006). There is a cliché
guys like explosions in movies. I must admit I enjoyed the
massive flames and destruction. Lee’s student had study plots
area to look at various forest processes. Then part way through
investigation there was a massive blowdown in the area, so the
became one of blowdown regeneration. Then there was the Cavity
Fire, and it became a study of the forest fire. I believe he
were 750 plots with a lot of data from each of these intervening
prior to the area being burned over by the fires. An excellent
that likely has not been duplicated. He talked of graduate
fleeing the oncoming fire by canoe. The fire jumped across a
skipping from island to island, some as far as a mile apart. He
the question of what are they accomplishing with firemen out
shovels and rakes making fire breaks when the fire could jump a
across open water. The massive amounts work spent fighting the
no obvious affect on the overall fire progression.
The next talk was Tom Diggins. He spoke of ongoing research at
Valley and disturbances from wind and flooding in the history of
valley. He had nice charts of multivariate analysis - I am not
they work, but they looked impressive and seemed to mean
Tom and others.
Dr. Tony Damato
The final talk of the afternoon session was by Tony D’Amato on
structure and dynamics of old growth forests in western
Tony gave an excellent overview of the various old growth
patches he had
been studying. He had everything down well as he was preparing
upcoming PhD defense on the research. Most of the old growth
western Mass are dominated by hemlock systems - 16 out of 18
I believe (not 100% sure). What will become of these areas after
hemlock woolly adelgid invasion?
After the session we helped Dr. Kudish gather his materials and
went to dinner. We had pushed together perhaps 8 or 9 tables to
one long table. The staff seemed somewhat frazzled at the sudden
of a couple dozen people at the giant table, but everything went
Some people fussed about being late for the evening session and
the presentation, but everyone on the agenda was sitting at the
The evening session started with a presentation of the Tsuga
Project by Will Blozan and colleague. The introduction was made
Blozan, but most of the presentation was by Jess Riddle. We had
fun with Jess at dinner because Gary had referred to him as
when listing the presentations for the avenging at the close of
afternoon session. The Tsuga Search Project is partially funded
NPS for Will and his team to document, climb and measure the
the great hemlock trees in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
treat select groves chemically to prevent their death from the
infestation. Areas outside the park are being paid for out of
Will Blozan. Jess has also spent money on the project and some
have made contributions to the fund. This was an excellent
and I don’t know how to best summarize what was said. There is
section on the website dealing with the issue that includes
documents and reports authored by Will and Jess.
Dale Luthringer was the next speaker. His talk was entitled,
"Western Pennsylvania Big & Tall Tree Reserve Update:
Cook Forest, Anders Run, Lake Erie Gorges," Dale is the
person responsible for getting me involved in ENTS in the first
place, and I believe the same is true for Anthony Kelly and Carl
Harting - the other western PA ENTS. The first park of his talk
focused on his ongoing white pine research in various areas of
PA. He provided updates of the newest height totals and Rucker
indexes for major sites he has been measuring. The second
portion of his talk dealt with new areas he is exploring in the
gorges in the bluffs surrounding Lake Erie. Some of these were
secret photos he would not show anyone before the summit. One of
the gorges had very steep walls and a gooseneck bend that almost
curved back on itself leaving a sharp narrow ridge connecting
the foreland to a small floating island on the interior of the
bend. He also described a section of old-growth along the edge
of the Conneaut Marsh in northwestern PA. Overall an excellent
This session was followed by a series of three presentations on
State Park in MA. This is a relatively small park in an
setting. Some timbering operations had been proposed by the
and was opposed by some of the local population. Bob Leverett
ask/volunteered himself and ENTS to be a mediator in the issue.
not sure I was pleased at this turn of events as the
be embroiled in a hot local political issue. At this stage the
operation has been put off for a year for further review. Local
can submit information on vernal pools and rare species that
been “lost” sometime prior to the plan to remove timber from
I will not o into details, but I must congratulate Bob Leverett
masterful job getting the parties to cooperate together and
some of the issues. I am optimistic the project will work out to
satisfaction of the various parties. My presentation was to
evening. But after a series of debates and words by various
on the Robinson State Park issue, the time was running late, and
crowd would not have been responsive to my talk anyway. That
everyone went to their respective staying places for the night.
tired, but stayed up for awhile and talked to Holly and Rob.
The next morning we left for a field trip to Mohawk Trail State
It was raining when we arrived. Everyone was waiting in a picnic
shelter. Introductions were made. New faces included Roman Dial,
son and mother, and Don Bragg. We decided to go on the hike in
rain, but scratch the tree climb. We visited some of the named
groves, the Jake Swamp Pine, The Norton Pine than a hike across
meadow. Some more trees and back again. It was a chance for me
and talk to some of these people.
We adjourned early and headed for the Charlemont Inn. Bob called
and made sure it was alright. It gave us chance to get a change
close after the hike in the rain. After people got dry, we
do a couple of presentations. Dale whipped out his digital
from his van, Will Blozan, Don Bragg got out a remote control
plugged into the laptop and controlled the slide show, Dr. Lee
and I both pulled out our flash drives.
Lee gave a presentation on invasive earthworms and the effects
forest. He added some information from personal observations
during the past few days in MA. The presentation went well and
engendered a series of questions. Links to Invasive worm
the internet, Lee’s stuff in particular are in the website.
I then gave my presentation intended for the evening before. I
it went well. One slide was a composite of thirty or so smaller
of ENTS members. That was all I could import into Power Point
it crashing on my laptop. Everyone was looking for their photo,
photos of others. On one slide I explained that the Tree
Index was eventually called TDI because I was obstinate and
argumentative. Tom Diggins also pointed out that I was the
After the presentations we had a nice meal before the evening
presentations. Don Bragg gave a talk right after dinner. It
to be the Big Trees of Arkansas. He had many photos of
from the state. One was and enormous hollow shell. There also
slides of the Old Growth Summit field trip from last spring. Don
editor of our Journal.
From here we went to the Federated Church of Charlemont for the
the evenings activities. The first presentation was by Roman
has been featured in national Geographic, Outside magazine, and
for his work in the East Indies and Australia region.
presentation included images from both Australia and Borneo.
impressive massive trees. Great climbs. Much of this work was
sponsored by National Geographic so he may be limited in what he
send to the website and Journal, but this is a plea to send us
photos you can and perhaps some of your World Rucker
Kaeza Fearn, Peter Shea, and Monica Jakuc Leverett
This presentation was followed by a cookie and cider session,
Evening of Music Prose and Poetry. Monica Jakuc Leverett
event. It featured a series of musical selection played by
the piano and sung by Peter Shea interspersed by various
reading was after the first musical piece: In the Willow-Meads
Tasarinan (text by J.R.R. Tolkien) by Donald Swann. I
did not do a
great job, but it was OK. It was a selection form John Muir’s
American Forests 1897. Other readers in the evening included:
Gonzalez, -Inscription for the entrance to the Wood (1815) and
Revisiting the Country (1825) by William Cullen Bryant, a
John Knuerr - The North American Continent by Thomas Berry, and
Leverett read “Beyond Measure” by fellow ENT Pamela Briggs.
The music was an eclectic selection of music from people like
Schumann, Mrs. H. H. A. Beech, Greig, and Edward MacDowell.
three distinct settings of Heinrich Heine’s poem “Der
Heine is a hobby of Peter Shea. He has a database of over 8,000
adaptations of Heine’s work, and that is just for one or two
piano. He personally has collected 1,200 adaptations (he might
said more - I am not sure). One of these adaptations was written
Kaeza Fearn - First performance of a new song composed for this
occasion. Kaeza attended the concert event. The entire program
excellently organized. I enjoyed the mix of readings and music
believe this format should be continued in the concert next year
- if we
can get Monica to organize another concert.
After the concert everyone headed back to Monica and Bob’s
next morning a trip to Ice Glen was planned. Will Blozan was
climb the large Ice Glen Pine and calculate the volume of the
arrived and congregated at the parking lot. Just as I was to
into the woods, I realized I had forgotten something in my
headed back while everyone else continued on. I accidentally
the rear passenger side window and shattered glass everywhere.
panic I caught up to Anthony Kelly and got him to move his jeep
went looking for something to patch the big hole. If I were to
back today and it rained, it would be a disaster unless I got it
I took off while the others continued. I stopped at four
stations - the only thing open Sunday morning in MA - before I
enough cardboard and duct Tape to patch the window. By then I
several miles away, it was an hour and a half later. I didn’t
where in the area the pine was located, I figured that Will had
climbed the tree, so I missed my video op, so I decided to head
Halfway home my Tracker started smoking badly and running rough.
stopped a couple times, added oil, but eventually I just had to
call a tow truck. My vehicle had a major oil leak, the rear
seal was shot. The Tracker was dead…. It would cost more to
fix it than
I could sell it for. I called my friends and cousins to come get
My cousin Rob was the first to be home, so he drove out and
picked me up
after a 7 hour wait at Wendy’s.
There are other reports and photos of the tree climb at Ice
heard rumors of a “Home Alone” style event in which John
left behind at Ice Glen….