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Old 02-05-2021, 10:10 PM   #23
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,690
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
"Following the science" has become a popular meme. Certainly, many activities impact the forest. So why then is this thread about just one type of "trail development?"

As Wldrns points out, hiking trail development involves huge impacts to the forest; far more, and larger trees are cut than in the branch and twig "trimming" that is used to develop most glades.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was some kind of "communication" among trees, even though that seems fanciful. But if there is something here to look at, we should be applying the knowledge equally to the various human activities.
Right - I get that. But I know of a lot of trails that are built that don’t cut a single tree, and they do very little in terms of removing small trees. These are single track hiking and bike trails. A 14’ wide ski trail or snowmobile trail not so much.

As far as the communication. It’s 100% proven no matter how likely you *think* it is or how fanciful it might seem. You might want to read into it before you seem surprised.

What I’m getting at here, and I thought I was pretty clear about is the impact of culling saplings over a wide area, rather than in narrow strips like a trail. You may think you understand how that affects the forest community and succession of the forest but I’ll argue you haven’t and won’t live nearly long enough and that even if you did, there’s so much we are barely starting to understand about forest ecology.

The terrible anthropomorphic example I’ll give us how would it affect a small village if you cut out an entire generation of children? But really it’s not that much of a stretch. Forests are communities and trees nurture their offspring. This is very hard evidence to dispute. Look at the tests.

Also, I won't ignore the obvious that humans have been killing forests since the dawn of agriculture. We're very good at it. Way too good at it. Trees can't run. But when we try to preserve a forest, maybe we actually think about these things instead of our own selfish wants and needs? Not sure...

For sure the Adirondacks are a mess because most of what is still used today is grandfathered in. Old roads, old trails... They suck. They were built before anyone had any idea how popular outdoor rec would become and before they understood the environment and ecology. Now it's different - we understand a little more... but we still get kind of stuck in the old ways of thinking. And we're so rigid about resource management and helping the park manage the number of users (by we, I mean the state of NY). I only mentioned this issue because learning of this science has changed my perspective on whether glading is healthy or not for the forest - that's it. Seems to me it's just as bad a clear cut if it's done for long enough. Keep killing all the succession each year and the old trees will have nothing to replace when they die.

Last edited by montcalm; 02-05-2021 at 10:33 PM..
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