Early in May this year I was invited to a small ceremony where Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness in Tulsa was going to join the Old-Growth Forest Network. Hmmm, never heard of them but sounds interesting. Besides, there was a hike included in the event. Sign me up!!
The Old-Growth Forest Network is an organization founded by biologist, turned author, turned activist, Joan Maloof who became alarmed at the loss of old-growth forests in the eastern USA. Very little old-growth forests remain in the east, less than 1% of the orginal forests and maybe about 5% in the west.
Old-growth forests are those that have been undisturbed and old trees are allowed to grow old and die. I found out that old dead snags can provide habitat for up to 300 different species. The Old-Growth Forest Network is trying to find and designate at least one publicly owned tract of land in counties, that can contain such forests. They estimate that is about 2370 counties. Turkey Mountain is the 199th such forest to be designated and only the second in Oklahoma.
So the dignitaries made their speeches and a plaque was handed out.
I borrowed it for a closeup. And then we went on a hike. It was about a mile and we got to the location of the oldest tree on Turkey Mountain. I forget what kind of tree it is but the dendrologists say it got started in 1774. They only tested thirty some trees based on their experience of where the oldest trees would be. They said, rocky land on steep slope where logging is difficult is the best bet. So it is likely that there are older trees on Turkey Mountain.
True confessions, my original photo wasn’t very good so I went back recently and got this video. The tree is kind of old and bent and I couldn’t capture it in a still so I got this video. It’s not the prettiest or the biggest tree in the world but it is kind of special.
So it was a nice outing. I got to learn something and go on a hike. I’m always up for that.
This link is for the report on the event by one of Tulsa’s television station.
I bought one of Joan Maloof’s books. I got the kindle version because it is half the price of the paperback. I’ll let you know what I found out.
Check out Old-Growth Forest Network’s web site. Lots of information on Old-growth forests. Here is the organization’s page for Turkey Mountain.
Do you want to live in the Tulsa area and want to get involved in things like this. Check out the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition.
I am linking with My Corner of the World. Check it out.