Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
From Forests to Farms, and Back Again: Land Use Change in the Hudson Valley
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

From Forests to Farms, and Back Again: Land Use Change in the Hudson Valley

104
views

Published on

The Hudson Valley is a treasured landscape that has undergone tremendous change over the past century. This forum explores how science-based stewardship on private land can help protect and promote …

The Hudson Valley is a treasured landscape that has undergone tremendous change over the past century. This forum explores how science-based stewardship on private land can help protect and promote healthy forests and open spaces, now and for future generations.

Presentations (5) explore threats our forests and natural areas face – from invasive species and climate change to deer overabundance – and actions that can be taken on a site-by-site basis to optimize conditions. A special focus will be given to the overlap between sport hunting and conservation communities, with a roundtable discussion on advancing common ground. Hosted April 12, 2014 at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Presentation Part I by: Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Published in: Environment, Technology, Business

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
104
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. An Ecological History of the Hudson Valley Charles D. Canham Senior Scientist Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies abbreviated, with emphasis on Dutchess County… and a view to lessons for land stewardship in the 21st century…
  • 2. Disclaimers… • I’m not a historian… • Perspective of a forest ecologist on human land-use that has transformed a forested landscape…
  • 3. Setting the Stage: The Hudson Valley prior to European Settlement • Largely unbroken forest, dominated by oaks 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Oaks Hickories Hemlock Pine Maples Presettlement Forests Current Forests “witness trees” recorded in original deeds (1750 – 1790) for the current property of the Cary Arboretum in Millbrook Percent Tree Species
  • 4. Transformation of Dutchess County by early European agriculture… From homestead to intensive wheat farming (1750 – 1825)… (Photos of the Harvard Forest Dioramas)
  • 5. The Erie Canal and the exodus west… Land abandonment and farm consolidation (1825 – 1875)
  • 6. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 Year Population Erie Canal 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 Year Population Erie Canal Population in the Town of Clinton, Dutchess Co. NY 1750 - 2000
  • 7. Reestablishment of forests (1825 – 1925) First white pine harvests on abandoned fields Hardwoods regenerating after a pine harvest
  • 8. Poughkeepsie Trends in forest cover 1700: ~ 100% 1825: ~ 25% 1915: ~ 16% 2000: ~ 55% Current forest land
  • 9. ? Have the forests “recovered”? (and, should we let them?)
  • 10. What’s missing…? Dutchman’s breeches Maidenhair fern Trout lily
  • 11. What’s new….? Garlic mustard Tree of heaven Invasive species
  • 12. What else is new…? A new habitat: “oldfields”
  • 13. Are “oldfields” our most endangered habitat? View from Stissing Mountain
  • 14. Where have all the fires gone? (and can we bring them back?) • Is fire suppression responsible for a reduction in the regional dominance of oak species in many parts of the eastern US? • Has the reduction in the abundance of oaks over the past 200 years fundamentally altered the flammability of these forests? http://oaksavannas.org/fire-fuel.html Percent Tree Species
  • 15. Catskill and Adirondack Logging: First Wave 1800 - 1890 Harvesting conifers from the river valleys, using horses and water for transportation Photos from B. McMartin. 1994. The Great Forest of the Adirondacks
  • 16. The Tanning Industry… • Catskills – Slopes completely logged in search of hemlock bark (1830 – 1870) • Adirondacks – Tanning industry on periphery of the Park (1850 – 1890) Source: B. McMartin. 1992. Hides, Hemlocks, and Adirondack History
  • 17. Logging: Mechanization The advent of railroads (circa 1890) Clearcutting of hardwood forests (and the advent of fires…)
  • 18. Logging: the modern forest products industry • Development of the modern forest products industry – Pulp and paper (disappearing?) – Selective logging for sawlogs (the ideal?) – Biomass fuel (the future?)
  • 19. What did we do to the forests inadvertently…? • Arguably the most pervasive human impacts* on eastern US forests over the past century have been from the introduction of new pests and pathogens… – Chestnut blight – Dutch elm disease – Gypsy moth – Beech bark disease – Hemlock wooly adelgid – Emerald ash borer – Asian longhorned beetle – …? (including changes in outbreaks of native pests and pathogens) Heavily diseased and resistant beech trees *on distribution and abundance of specific tree species
  • 20. Lessons… • We have created entirely new ecosystems, and landscape configurations that are without historical precedent… • This is good! (or at least not necessarily bad…)
  • 21. A burden of stewardship... …If we have the power to so completely transform nature, don’t we have a responsibility to guide the changes…? … If we can’t recreate the past, what are our goals for the future of the landscape…?