It was a privilege to work there. Lissa Widoff was a field biologist in her 20s when she came to Big Reed Pond in the s to organize field teams doing an assessment in advance of a possible purchase by The Nature Conservancy. She bunked in one of the cabins on the shore of the pond with other team members, putting in 10 days or two weeks at a time before returning to civilization for a few days. The researchers spent up to 10 hours a day in the woods, following transects — compass bearings across the landscape — while noting observations as they went.
In a sense it was standard field biology work, but in Big Reed there were moments where it hit home that this was a different kind of place. It also taught us that the stereotypical image of an old-growth forest of stately cathedral-like trees is more of a myth.
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And every day the scientists got more intimate with the land. They would marvel over the little sheltered spots, microhabitats where the soils were richer trip back across the pond was literally a breeze — thanks to the brisk tailwind.
Kind of like a believed-to-be-extinct species found along the roadside in a suburban neighborhood. Hiding in plain sight.
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The Pingree family knew about it, of course, because they owned the land and had done timber cruises and visited the camps on the shore of the pond, said Barbara Vickery. The Pingree heirs knew the tract was special because of its untouched nature, and had left it that way. And so they reached out to the Conservancy. At the time, said Vickery, the chapter was focused on identifying and protecting important habitat for rare species or exemplary natural communities. Most preserves were smaller and on or near the coast, especially islands.
But the chapter was interested, no doubt about it. The fact that the forest had never been cut was itself a reason to protect it. Vickery was conservation programs director at the time. She remembers talking with the first Conservancy staff to visit Big Reed. In the end it was a huge, complicated deal. The first part, for 3, acres, was a three-way transaction involving land swaps with the state and the Pingree family. The sale was completed in No sooner had that been finalized than they negotiated a second purchase of 1, acres that brought the total to nearly 5, acres, protecting the entirely of the Big Reed Pond watershed.
There was more old growth beyond that, on the north and west sides of the new reserve. Vickery championed the idea of buying that, arguing that this uncut forest needed a bigger buffer from the managed forestland around it. But a third purchase never came about. Vickery still regrets that. Vickery believes the Big Reed project not only allowed the Conservancy to become the owner of the largest tract of old growth forest in the east, but also changed how it viewed conservation in Maine. Expanded its horizons, so to speak. In the years since, the chapter has taken on projects in interior Maine that dwarf Big Reed several times over in terms of acreage and cost: as just one example, the ,acre St.
A couple of years ago Vickery went back to Big Reed, on the same rainy trip Cutko went on. It had been a long while. And one of the things she noticed was that the forest had changed. Beech bark disease had taken its toll and the big old beeches had come down. It changed the feel of the forest, she said. This same-yet-different forest was a reminder that everything changes, even places that seem like they should exist out of time.
And Vickery thought again of how it is important to have places in the natural world where we can simply observe how things play out without our interference, without our attempts to manage things and play the master puppeteer, pulling the myriad strings. Joe Rankin writes on forests from his home in central Maine, about four hours from Big Reed Preserve. To ensure a respectful dialogue, please refrain from posting content that is unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, or inflammatory.
Northern Woodlands assumes no responsibility or liability arising from forum postings and reserves the right to edit all postings. Thanks for joining the discussion. Autumn Old-growth forests are often messy, thanks to a multitude of downed trees, and traversing the property can be difficult. Photo by Hal Morgan. The rustic cabin is leased by The Nature Conservancy to a sporting camp operator who rents it out, mainly to fishermen who want to ply the pond for its rare blue-backed trout.
Out of Place, Out of Time: Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess | kieconrusssumhand.ml
Photo by Joe Rankin. Part One sends Rowan off in search of Solas after leaving the Inquisition behind. After finding him, Solas divulges a crushing secret that could spell the end of their romance forever. In a twist of events Rowan finds herself in a new world, a thousand years later, but without any recollection of who she is or anything about her past.
Solas must guide her to Skyhold in hopes that it will trigger her memories thus freeing her from her mysterious amnesia. Prior to Solas taking off after Rowan, Flemeth tells him about a terrifying prophecy that is doomed to destroy the world as they know it if not stopped.
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