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Old 02-05-2021, 12:53 PM   #21
montcalm
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Moderator Please
Not sure what needs to be moderated except perhaps to remove your disruptive posts?

Do you have something useful to add?

It's pretty clear you stated this thread need to be shut down, that "I don't know you", and that it now needs to be moderated, all based on you being offended by something. It's a pretty juvenile tactic. Please stop.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:31 PM   #22
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"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.
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:10 PM   #23
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"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.

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Old 02-05-2021, 10:33 PM   #24
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montcalm, have you read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben? It corroborates and expounds upon the communication through fungal networks and sharing of resources between familial trees and even trees of different species in a forest. Its written in a way thats intuitive and interesting to read, though based on scientific observations.

I might add that Beech trees appear to be the villain of the forest, they will intentionally grow through the crown of competing trees and dont appear to value the "community" of the forest. If their aggressive nature wasnt enough, Beech trees (with a diameter of approx. 6'' or greater) are falling victim to some invasive species that leaves those pock marks all over their bark and eventually kills them. As a result the dying trees are spreading panic growth everywhere within their reach. At the same time many of the Maples that dominate the canopy in the Adirondacks are reaching the end of their lifespan (300ish yrs). It would be tragic if in several hundred years as the climate becomes less harsh, the Adirondacks became one dense Beech thicket. I would not shed a tear if some Beeches were cleared both for new skiing opportunities and to preserve the diversity of mixed hardwood forests.
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:53 PM   #25
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montcalm, have you read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben? It corroborates and expounds upon the communication through fungal networks and sharing of resources between familial trees and even trees of different species in a forest. Its written in a way thats intuitive and interesting to read, though based on scientific observations.

I might add that Beech trees appear to be the villain of the forest, they will intentionally grow through the crown of competing trees and dont appear to value the "community" of the forest. If their aggressive nature wasnt enough, Beech trees (with a diameter of approx. 6'' or greater) are falling victim to some invasive species that leaves those pock marks all over their bark and eventually kills them. As a result the dying trees are spreading panic growth everywhere within their reach. At the same time many of the Maples that dominate the canopy in the Adirondacks are reaching the end of their lifespan (300ish yrs). It would be tragic if in several hundred years as the climate becomes less harsh, the Adirondacks became one dense Beech thicket. I would not shed a tear if some Beeches were cleared both for new skiing opportunities and to preserve the diversity of mixed hardwood forests.




Peter, being a forester is giving a lot of interpretations based on observations, and not rigorous experiments like Dr. Simard et. al. but it is surely still interesting, and surely stuff that needs to be proven with careful data collection. I have no doubt he is correct about many of his hypotheses.

I'd like to look more into the Beech and Maple rivalry. In Europe, it seems the Beech likes to dominate the forest.

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Old 02-06-2021, 11:52 PM   #26
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Montcalm: Fascinating facts. I believe what you said.
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:11 AM   #27
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Perhaps the term "harmful" needs to be defined. One person's harm can be another's help or benefit. (more productive commercial forest, better recreational opportunities)
I would ask, what is the "impact" of glade or trail cutting.

For some, cutting a single tree is "by definition" bad because it's a wilderness zone. End of discussion. For some, leaving all those ADK forests to grow so chaotically due to Forever Wild is a crime.

As for the Beeches (those dendrological bullies and their selfish genes) that's almost a whole 'nuther thread right there. Where is DSettahr?
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:17 AM   #28
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One thing I recall reading in an on-line outdoors magazine is that when people go into the woods for BC skiing they disturb the wildlife. Anyone else aware of that?
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:59 AM   #29
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A book worth reading is" Field Notes from the Northern Forest " by Curt Stager . There is a chapter called Underground Connections , fascinating stuff .
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:06 PM   #30
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After reading The Hidden Life of Trees and some related material, I wonder if a warning goes through the forest when I enter. Though I don't remove any trees (it's public land, not mine), I do trim some branches and have been expanding ski trails through areas of honeysuckle, grape vines, multiflora roses and other invasive species. Maybe the natives appreciate that. I'm also trying to line trails where invasives have been removed by planting natives that the deer won't eat.
The deer seem to be in favor of ski tracks, they can trample a perfectly cleared trail overnight.
The NY Times had an expansion of some of the material from The Hidden Life of Trees a few weeks back, seems there are more books on the way from researchers looking into these issues.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:46 PM   #31
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Are we talking about downhill ski trails or backcountry ski trails?
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:51 PM   #32
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Are we talking about downhill ski trails or backcountry ski trails?
Both.

They don't exist in NY yet but there are, for instance in VT, man-made BC ski trails that are glades i.e. they are not cleared of large trees but maintained to give enough space to ski around and in between the trees. If you ski at a place like Whiteface or Gore, which are state owned, they maintain ski trails that are glades and not vast clear cuts. I'm sure the state could glean some data from those in the future.

I think some older skiers get annoyed by this because it doesn't apply to them. They ski little-known natural glades and if any trimming goes on, no one really talks about it. And whatever, that's fine. I ski at places like this and I don't really talk about it. It's not a secret, but it's not exactly well known either.

The issue becomes either supporting or opposing these type of trails on Forest Preserve lands in NY. There are groups working to promote this (groups I support financially). But truth of the matter is I'm rather ignorant, and when I learn more, sometimes my stance may change. Other people that aren't really skiers, but who have right to public comment on these type of things when UMP changes come about - or maybe in this case even an amendment to the constitution to allow these type of trails to be legally marked and maintained. Some may say the current system of secrecy works fine, but the fact is backcountry skiing, either XC or DH is getting more pressure than ever. Our snowpack may limit our ambitions in the future, but I think these are the kind of things that are going to come to surface. At minimum, there are groups that support building of more XC-type trails and in higher difficulty but that also include large opening on steeper sections to allow turning.

At any rate, whether you ski or not, you probably should have some idea on the impact of these sort of things and whether or not they would be an appropriate addition if any of the proposals ever gain steam. I was previously of the mind that glading was not detrimental, but I have a little bit more conservative position on that now.
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Old 02-07-2021, 06:09 PM   #33
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Montcalm: Fascinating facts. I believe what you said.
LOL - don't believe me. Believe the data.

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Perhaps the term "harmful" needs to be defined. One person's harm can be another's help or benefit. (more productive commercial forest, better recreational opportunities)
I would ask, what is the "impact" of glade or trail cutting.

For some, cutting a single tree is "by definition" bad because it's a wilderness zone. End of discussion. For some, leaving all those ADK forests to grow so chaotically due to Forever Wild is a crime.

As for the Beeches (those dendrological bullies and their selfish genes) that's almost a whole 'nuther thread right there. Where is DSettahr?
I get a little annoyed by us discussing these kinds of things because... well we're old. I think it is really for the next generations to decide how to manage. We'll be dead and gone before those trees even know what hit them, but our kids, or our grandkids will be the ones that will see the unintended consequences of our carelessness, or the benefits of knowledge and restraint. It's always that case, I'm not picking on any one generation in particular.

I think other than the odd latrine, trees probably don't find much we do to be beneficial. And also, I'd argue we, as a species, have a hard time doing anything that isn't beneficial for ourselves, at least in the short term.

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One thing I recall reading in an on-line outdoors magazine is that when people go into the woods for BC skiing they disturb the wildlife. Anyone else aware of that?
Is this true, or a joke? It's the internet and I can't decipher ambiguity.

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A book worth reading is" Field Notes from the Northern Forest " by Curt Stager . There is a chapter called Underground Connections , fascinating stuff .
I think all of this is not new. And of course people are cropping up who have read Peter's book. I knew that would happen. Anyway, I think certain foresters and ecologist have observed these kind of things and that's what lead to more intensive research. Dr. Simard's PhD thesis was published in 1995, I think. That's not exactly new, but in terms of science that's at least been around long enough to be peer reviewed, and hopefully results confirmed, etc... by others. The longer an explanation to data or a phenomenon sticks around, the more likely it has stood a good many challenges and has hopefully been looked at from different lenses within the field.
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:23 PM   #34
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Is this true, or a joke? It's the internet and I can't decipher ambiguity.


https://www.hcn.org/issues/52.3S/spe...ngers-wildlife
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:12 PM   #35
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I would think that a back country ski trail would have the least amount of impact on the forest.

It would cut only the smaller trees which I assume is good.

If we can assume that the trails are not maintained for summer use then the ground would not be very compacted. Soil compaction does have a negative impact on forests.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:18 AM   #36
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Interesting. But my bet is no one will gaf.

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It would cut only the smaller trees which I assume is good.
You can lead a horse to water...
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Old 02-08-2021, 05:31 PM   #37
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It would cut only the smaller trees which I assume is <<better>>.
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