PA's Contribution   Robert Leverett
  Feb 09, 2004 06:59 PST 


Let me first reiterate the PA sites.

Site                                Rucker Index

Cook Forest State Park       135.27
Wintergreen Gorge            127.89
Fairmont Park                127.72
Walnut Creek Gorge           120.6
Ricketts Glen SP             119.85
Ander's Run Natural Area     118.65
Heart's Content Natural Area 113.79
Alan Seeger Natural Area     111.13
Coho Property                109.59
Tionesta N.A.                109.36
Glenwood Park                 98.08
Parker Dam SP                 85.57

   I suspect that the number of sites that have a 120 or above Rucker
index will continue to grow for PA and that the density of such sites
will become a benchmark for latitudes 40 to 42 degrees latitude north.
It will be interesting to follow the trends from about 34 to 48 degrees
in terms of Rucker indices for a variety of habitats. We could
eventually develop a good map of site indices for older forests and
forests that occupy a variety of growing habitats. What would be the
benefits? At the least, we could develop measures to help us assess how
far removed a forest habitat is from reaching its potential. This isn't
synonymous with gauging forest maturity in an age context because most
of the higher Rucker values are achieved before the onset of old growth
status. If we know what a particular site should have in the way of a
species mix if left alone for some sequence, say 60, 80, 120, and 150
years and what that mix should reach in the way of a Rucker index, we
would have a measure of potential left to achieve for the age thresholds
- OR some measure of site degradation. Something such as this is what
I've had in mind for a long time using Mohawk Trail State Forest as one
of the benchmark forests. John Eichholz has added Mount Peak to the mix.
Lots to do.


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society
Re: PA's Contribution   Linda Luthringer
  Feb 09, 2004 12:42 PST 


Yes, good points. I was just explaining this aspect to some folks in the
bureau, but I'm afraid it wasn't quite as eloquently described as yourself.