Portland Aerial Tram
In order to write this blog, I visited one old-growth forest in each state east of the Mississippi River twenty-six states in all. The forests are all open to the public, and in these pages I tell you how to get there and what you will find when you arrive. Some of the forests are pristine; some are in distress. Some are an easy drive, others a difficult hike or paddle.
8 Best Tourist Attractions in Portland Oregon Photo Gallery
Some are vast; others cover just a few acres. I hope the blog will be an enjoyable adventure even if you never leave your couch. But if, like my earlier readers, you are eager to experience the ancients for yourself, this blog can guide you to them.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
If you have read this far and you are still not sure what an old-growth forest is, there is no need to be ashamed. It is a difficult concept to pin down, and I would wager that more tree fiber has already been used to print various definitions of old growth than currently exists in old-growth forests in the East. There is no single definition for it. When someone at the United Nations Forestry Division went looking for definitions, he found ninety-eight of them. So we won’t get involved in that debate.
Portland Saturday Market
For our purposes, we will be content with the notion that old-growth forests are places that have been left alone for a very long time. This usually results in large, old trees, but in some marginal environments, such as mountaintops, even the ancient trees are small.
When forests are left alone, the natural cycles of life and death are easy to witness. The structure of a forest changes with age, and as the structure of an ancient forest develops, the plant and animal communities become more diverse and complex. Even the soil changes as a forest ages. The reason definitions are so difficult is that every forest is different.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
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