The Saga of Miss American Green Cross

Originally posted on Peeling Back the Bark:

This weekend a winner will be crowned at the 89th Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. While we wish all the ladies luck, here at Peeling Back the Bark World Headquarters our favorite Miss America will undoubtedly remain one woman born all the way back in 1928.Miss America Green Cross

Miss American Green Cross, as she is known, was unveiled in Glendale, California, 87 years ago. Posing against the backdrop of a cross, her striking figure appeared with her arms outstretched in a call to save America’s trees. But who was this woman and where did she come from? To fully understand her story we need to go back a few more years to the origins of the American Reforestation Association.

American Reforestation Association logoThe early 1920s was a time of growing concerns over dwindling forest resources in the United States. In response to this perceived crisis, the American Reforestation Association was incorporated in Los Angeles…

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How Oregon Rivers Carried Millions Of Trees Into Production

How Oregon Rivers Carried Millions Of Trees Into Production . News | OPB.

Around the same time famed photographer Carelton Watkins first captured the Columbia River Gorge with his traveling darkroom, on the south fork of the Coos River in southwest Oregon a large dam helped fuel Oregon’s burgeoning timber industry.

The Tioga Dam was the largest splash dam in the Northwest. It was the first of what would grow to become 230 splash dams throughout western Oregon.

Let’s start big picture. From 1849-1924, Oregon produced over 47 billion board feet of lumber production, most of it hauled out on rivers. For context, trucks carried about 4 billion board feet lumber out of the woods on forest roads in 2014.

The Tioga Dam on the South Coos River towered 52 feet high and 200 feet wide.

Stephen Dow Beckham

In the past, ax men would cut down the towering trees and guide them into flooded rivers, which were controlled by splash dams. When ready, the splash dams opened and the wood rushed down in log drives. Workers would use dynamite to carve out natural objects in the way and clear backed up trees.

The river could carried off around a million board feet of timber in a single drive.

Oregon’s years of log drives ended with the Tioga, as the last standing splash dam in Oregon. Under pressure from the state and landowners, it closed in 1957. Workers burned it down in a night.

Many of the rivers changed by the log drives have healed over the past 70 years. But there are some lingering challenges.

Oregon Field Guide explores this history and what means now for some rivers in Oregon

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7/31/1865: Austin Cary, the Father of Southern Forestry, Born

Originally posted on Peeling Back the Bark:

Austin Cary, one of the great unsung heroes of American forestry, was born this date in 1865 in East Machias, Maine. A Yankee through and through, he found professional success in the South, eventually becoming known as the “Father of Southern Forestry.” In 1961, twenty-five years after Cary’s passing, his biographer Roy R. White wrote of him:

In contrast with his more renowned contemporaries, Austin Cary was an obscure logging engineer in the Forest Service. Yet the story of the life and work of this latter-day Johnny Appleseed has reached legendary proportions in the southern pine country. Cary, a New England Yankee, dedicated himself to the awesome task of bringing forestry and conservation to a region reluctant to accept, and ill-equipped to practice, these innovations. His success places him in the forefront of noted American foresters and his character warrants a position peculiarly his own.

What makes Cary an intriguing…

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“How Could We Lose This Forest?” – Searching for the DAR Memorial Forest

Originally posted on Peeling Back the Bark:

“How could we lose this forest?” It’s a history mystery we’d been working on for more than two weeks when Molly Tartt, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in western North Carolina, asked me that in an email. Indeed, how does a 50-acre forest vanish from maps and memory? No one knows where the forest is today, and few have heard of it. It’s more legend than fact at this point, it seems. Molly had been searching for some time and turned to FHS for help, fittingly, just before Independence Day.

A December 1939 newspaper article trumpeted the DAR’s plans for planting a forest to “memorialize the North Carolina patriots who took part in the struggle for independence.” An area that had been heavily logged and burned over would be reforested. The plan called for 60,000 trees to be planted on 25 to 40 acres set aside for the memorial (we believe…

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A Birdie in One

Originally posted on Harderblog:

That might be in reference to an eagle perched high above the Douglas Fir tree that overlooks the 15th hole at this year’s U.S. Open Golf Championship. Dakeryn lumber traders planning to attend the Open won’t be the only ones surprised by the minimalist role that any woods connection plays in this year’s Open. The Pacific Northwest may be known for lush forested areas, in which the lumber industry thrives, but as this story in The Seattle Times points out, except for one lone fir tree, there ain’t any on the Chambers Bay golf course in Puget Sound.

Almost a TUBA FORE?!

“Wienecke arrived at work at Chambers Bay in pre-dawn darkness, as usual, that day in late April 2008. When he got around to the tree, the first thing he saw was the mess – the beer bottles and cigarette butts. Then he noticed the wood chips, and…

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Growing Lumber

Originally posted on Harderblog:

We’re not sure if Gavin Munro will figure out how to coax trees to grow limbs shaped like 2×10 floor joists. Some believe it would render sawmills obsolete. For now this botanical craftsman is enjoying success in growing furniture (HT: Mark Kennedy).

Aptly described in this article at Gizmag as “a man with a great deal of patience,” Munro has reportedly spent the last ten years training trees to become chairs, tables, and sculpture. Check out the many beautiful images which includes his Furniture Field (Tuscan vineyard?) posted at the company’s website (“each piece is an expression of patience and collaboration with nature”). A large furniture harvest is projected for 2016-2017. Would this be nature’s contribution to rudimentary 3-D printing?

Fg_chairs_just_cropped_at_hopton Photo Credit:

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Forestry Friday … Millions of Dead Trees

Originally posted on THE FORESTER ARTIST:

This storyappeared in the May 2015, California Forest Pest Council newsletter. The effects of the drought are manifesting in Southern California forests through massive tree die-off.

Early Aerial Surveys Find Millions of Dead Trees

TehachapiBugKill 2015 Pine Mortality Near Tehachapi. By J. Moore, USFS. The US Forest Service, Forest Health Protection conducted special early season aerial surveys of Southern California and the Southern Sierras in April to get a preliminary assessment of forest conditions in some of the most severely drought-impacted areas of the state. The Southern California survey covered more than 4.2 million acres and identified approximately 2 million dead trees over 164,000 acres. It included most of the Cleveland, San Bernardino, Angeles, and Los Padres National Forests as well as Pinnacles National Monument and nearby private lands. Noteworthy finds included a substantial increase in pine mortality on the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest as well as…

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