Forest Forensics

first_imgThere are no bodies, no police tape, no cluster of curious onlookers.  Yet there is plenty of evidence of a historic ecological crime: the deforestation of the eastern United States and consequent massive loss of topsoil.  It began slowly at Jamestown and culminated quickly just a century ago in the Appalachian Mountains. Archives document the destruction of virtually all of the vast original eastern forests.  The woods remember, too.    35,000 tons of bark on way to Lea & McVitty Tannery in VA. Courtesy of the Bridgewater, VA Office of the U.S. Forest Some of the soil eroded from logging as well as poor agricultural practices was initially impounded in thousands of downstream mill ponds.  After water milling ended, the abandoned dams failed, and soil began moving downstream. It’s still moving. Called “legacy sediment,” it will “continue to contribute to stream turbidity into the foreseeable future,” concluded researchers at the University of North Carolina in 2013.  It is “a source of nutrients and trace elements [that] may add significantly to the degradation of downstream ecosystems such as the Chesapeake Bay,” according to research published in the journal Geology.  In 2017, the Chesapeake Bay Program held a Legacy Sediment Workshop to discuss remediation of “the enormous volumes of legacy sediment stored in valleys of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”    Sign at Pisgah National Forest, NC ca. 1920s. Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service. BIO:  Chris Bolgiano lives on 112 wooded acres on the border of the George Washington National Forest. By 1900, county ordinances required farmers to fence livestock in.  Barbed wire was patented in the 1870s, and by the 1920s was being nailed to living oaks as four billion American chestnut trees died from an imported fungus.  Some oaks have ingested the wire, and chestnut rail fences still molder in remote places, reminders of the loss of this most productive tree for both humans and wildlife.   Home-welded winch to pull up logs from slopes and hollows, ca. 1930s. On the author’s property. – C. Bolgiano But millennia of soil-building were lost.  Decades of regrowth now obscure the reduced fertility, but in 1943, a Forest Service report on the Virginia mountains noted that the better growing sites “because of fire or other past abuses are of low productivity.”   Less conspicuous than many-trunked trees are grey, lichen-spotted stumps, often embedded in moss, with the straight-edge cuts of a saw.  Whittle off a chip and the fresh, piney scent is a whiff of Christmas. Yet these trees may have been harvested in the late 1860s, when Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley farmers favored shortleaf and other yellow pines to rebuild barns burned during the Civil War.  Dr. James Finley, professor of forest history at Penn State University, assured me that, due to resin content, “Pine stumps can last a very long time.” They may be lasting longer than many barns. Shortleaf pines are less abundant now due to extensive harvesting, land clearing, and wildfire followed by fire suppression.                                                   Flat, unmarked hearths in the woods where trees were smoldered into charcoal are difficult to find, but hundreds of iron furnaces fueled by charcoal still stand along seams of ore down the mountains.  Iron making began by the mid-1700s. By the late 1800s, when coal replaced charcoal, hundreds of thousands of acres were being clearcut annually to produce hundreds of thousands of tons of iron.  Chestnut oaks – a different species — are common and often multiple-trunked in a ring of mature trunks leaning outward. A circle around the base of each trunk approximates the size of the mother trees, cut not for wood but for bark high in tannic acid.  Leather was a necessity before plastic, and tanning depended on acid leached from bark. Chestnut oaks are particularly good at stump sprouting, and deer had been severely overhunted by the early 1900s, so the sprouts escaped browsing. By the time synthetic chemicals replaced it around the 1940s, bark was being harvested by the millions of tons annually.  Naked logs were sometimes left in the woods to rot.  Old fences recall livestock.  But were animals fenced in or out?  European settlers brought the ancient tradition of access to forests regardless of ownership, for essentials like firewood, game, and forage.  They found Appalachian woodlands far more productive than in Europe, and loosed livestock to eat chestnuts and acorns across the mountainsides. They set out salt blocks to keep the animals near home, recollected today by places named “Lick.”  Often using rot-resistant American chestnut logs, farmers fenced livestock out of gardens and crops.    Image result for mossy creek furnace, vaCatherine Furnace, Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, VA. Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service.center_img Clues in the woods to historic crimes against nature, and the consequences today Remains of a rail fence in Hardy County, WV. -C. Bolgiano Rain gushed down bare slopes, eroding deep trenches and carrying away tons of soil and stones.  Floods drowned thousands of people, ruined millions of dollars of property, and smothered streams with sediment.  So terrible was the immediate damage that Congress passed the Weeks Act in 1911, authorizing the establishment of eastern national forests.  With help from the Civilian Conservation Core during the 1930s, the U.S. Forest Service extinguished fires and built erosion fences. Ironically, the destruction of the most biodiverse temperate forest in the world led to a national forest commons now producing clean water, air, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat and recreation for all.   Dr. Carole Nash, an archaeologist at James Madison University, said that “excavations on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River consistently demonstrate the impacts of logging on mountain soils.  It’s common to document three feet of alluvial deposits over the earliest levels of historic occupation in the 1740s. Below that, only an inch of soil takes you back in time a thousand years.”   Where did all that soil go? Accessible forests had been cut over, but railroads brought industrial-scale logging almost everywhere.  Higher slopes and ridges still had huge virgin trees many feet in diameter. Historians date the worst destruction from 1880 to 1930.  Hundreds of private timber companies had what was reported as a “cut out and get out” attitude. Steam equipment powered by wood or coal threw sparks that ignited slash left by loggers. Wildfires burned regeneration across entire mountainsides. If an old blackened skeleton leaves char on your fingers, it may have been a living tree killed by a hot fire, which renders some trees rot resistant.   Multiple stemmed chestnut oaks in the George Washington National Forest. -C. Bolgiano “The past is never dead,” wrote William Faulkner. “It’s not even past.”  Oak absorbing barbed wire. -C. Bolgiano 17Charcoal hearth, uncertain location, ca. 1900. Courtesy of the Edinburg, VA Office of the U.S. Forest Service.last_img read more

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Kenya governor under fire after putting Hennessy bottles in coronavirus care packages

first_imgMike Sonko the governor of the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi, included a few small bottles of the cognac, Hennessy, in his COVID-19 care packages.The governor confirmed the news on Tuesday during a news briefing and he  justified the inclusion of alcohol as “throat sanitizer.”“I think from the research conducted by the World Health Organization and various organizations, it has been believed that alcohol plays a major role in killing the coronavirus,” Sonko said in a video.However, the World Health Organization has stated that alcohol does not protect against coronavirus.WHO actually advises people to minimize their consumption of alcohol.Many people are condemning the governor’s actions including Githinji Gitahi, the CEO of Amref Health Africa, a medical nonprofit.Please completely ignore clowning of a major global pandemic taking lives & putting extreme pressure on households. Dump this the way you would dump your used #COVID19 #mask – never to be recovered! @MOH_Kenya needs to condemn this as this is not an ordinary citizen! pic.twitter.com/6Lsu0DXvzV— Dr Githinji Gitahi, MBS (@daktari1) April 15, 2020last_img read more

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2 dead, 3 injured including officer in Coconut Creek shootout

first_imgSaturday morning, a shooting left two people dead and three people injured, including a police officer in Coconut Creek.The police officer and the other two injured remain at Broward Health North, according to officials.Police have confirmed a suspect is in custody.Police have not released further details about the shooting at this time.last_img

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Woman wins 3.8 million jackpot at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

first_imgA Fort Lauderdale woman celebrating her 60th birthday is now a millionaire after hitting the jackpot on a $1 slot machine at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.The woman was inducted into a new tax bracket on Thursday after wagering a $5 bet on the slot machine:“I am in absolute shock,” the woman told our news partners at WPTV. ” You like to dream big but that’s really big. That’s not even in the really big. That’s not even in the ballpark of what you think you can win. That’s a lottery. It still feels like a dream.”The winner who asked to remain anonymous says she plans to spend her winnings modestly:“We’re talking about hurricane windows,” she said. ” We talked about resurfacing the pool or maybe getting a nicer condo after retirement.”The 3.8 million win is the largest payout at any Seminole Tribe of Florida gaming property.last_img read more

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Tiny House Advocate Speaks at Olympia Timberland Library

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by the Timberland Regional LibraryOlympia resident Dee Williams hand-crafted her beautiful 84 square foot house and wrote a book about the experience, “The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself-Memoir.” She will speak at the Olympia Timberland Library on Thursday, July 31 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.In building her tiny home, Williams discovered that the important stuff in life isn’t stuff.“Admitting that I’m “happy enough” makes me wonder if I’m falling short of my potential as a middle-class American,” Williams writes on her website. “But the facts are the facts,” she continues, “I found a certain bigness in my little house – a sense of largeness, freedom, and happiness that comes when you see there’s no place else you’d rather be.”Jim Lynch, author of “The Highest Tide,” writes: “The Big Tiny” is irresistible. Dee Williams is as much fun on the page as she is in person. Comic, silly, and soulful, she takes us on her journey to simplify her life and along the way tunes in to our own inner desire to pare down to our nearly naked selves.”Williams founded Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD) to help others find a way to make their housing serve their lives. She has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Yahoo.com, National Public Radio, CBS This Morning and more.Attendees may bring their own copies of the book to be signed. Books will also be available for purchase. Learn more about Dee and the tiny house movement at www.padtinyhouses.com.This program will take place after regular library hours and no other services will be available.The Olympia Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Ave.SE.  For more information contact the library at (360) 352-0595 or visit www.TRL.orglast_img read more

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Kids Learn Tips On Rip Currents, Sharks

first_img“They’re a little scary, but if you know more about them, you can be respectful, not fearful,” said Williams, a post-doctoral coastal ecologist at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken.In a shark encounter, do not splash because the shark could take it for prey, such as a seal, Williams said.Teresa Sperber, a member of the board of the Library Association, which does fundraising and programming for the library, said she arranged Williams’ talk because she was familiar with Sea Grant after two of her children – Paul, 12, and Cecilia, 8 – attended camp at Sea Grant this summer. “I thought it was very informative,” Sperber said. “I think the kids learned a lot in a fun style,” Sperber said. About 20 children and five adults attended.Williams conducts two other programs for the community, a for-adults version of the one presented at the library and another on dune management, also for adults. Williams can be reached through Sea Grant, 732-872-1300, or at [email protected] Story and photos by Joseph SapiaRUMSON – With swimmer Michael Phelps racking up gold medals for Team USA in the Summer Olympics, it may be interesting to know he is much slower than a common Jersey Shore visitor.Rip currents can move “two times as fast as an Olympic swimmer,” said Amy Williams, a coastal ecology extension agent for the Sandy Hook-based New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium.That was one of the facts presented in “Ocean Hazards: Sharks and Rip Currents,” a children-oriented talk Williams did at the Oceanic Free Library, here, on Wednesday, Aug. 10.A rip current is “a current of water that rips you away from the shore,” Williams said. When waves come in, the water has to go back out – the channeling of that outgoing water in one location is a rip current.Aside from avoiding panic and swimming parallel to the shore, try to get a lifeguard’s attention if swimming in a rip current, Williams said. “Rip currents take you out to sea, but they stay on the surface,” she said. “They don’t go out very far.”Mary Catherine O’Connor, 9, who lives in the borough, said she came away with new knowledge. “I learned sharks don’t mean to attack you and a lot about rip currents and how to be safe in them.” Her sister, Eleanor, 11, said she learned that to get out of a rip current: swim parallel to the shore to escape the narrow funneling of water.Margot O’Connor of Rumson holds her daughter, Claire, 6, while attending a talk at the Oceanic Free Library, Rumson. O’Connor is vice president of the library association.The children also learned that a swimmer is safer if using a flotation device, and panic is a main reason people get in trouble in rip currents.Williams talked about shark attacks.In 2015, for example, there were 96 reported shark attacks worldwide, with only six deaths from these, Williams said. Of the 300 to 400 species of sharks, only three – great white, bull and tiger – are known to attack humans, she said.last_img read more

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Rockets blast off on Kootenay Wildcats, pound home side in weekend series

first_imgHome ice advantage could not stop the offensive surge of the Thompson-Okanagan Rockets.Thompson-Okanagan flexed its offensive muscles to dump the Kootenay Wildcats in a pair of B.C. Female Midget AAA League action Saturday and Sunday in Nelson.The Rockets opened the two-game set by blasting Kootenay 9-0 at the Civic Centre Arena.
Sunday, the Wildcats held the Rockets to a handful of goals, but could only score once in a 5-1 setback.The only bright spot on the one-sided weekend was a third period goal by Shea Weighill of Nakusp.The goal snapped a five-period goal-less streak for the Cats.The loss drops the Wildcats to 2-6 on the season. Kootenay sits fourth in the five-team league, six points behind league leading Fraser Valley Phantom.The Rockets are second at 4-1-1, one point behind the Phantom.Vancouver Fusion is third.Prince George Cougars are winless in six games.The Cats are idle until the November 12 when the team travels to Pitt Meadows to face the league leading Phantom in the first game of a two-game [email protected]last_img read more

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UPDATED: Bombers get rocked by top seed Sir Charles Tupper

first_imgIn the end, the top ranked team in the tournament was too much for the 16th squad.Sir Charles Tupper Tigers made quick work of the Kootenay reps from Nelson, overpowering the L.V. Rogers Bombers 68-36 in opening round action at the BC High School AAA Boy’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Events Centre in Langley.The Tigers opened up a 26-7 first quarter lead and never looked back.C. Schneller put up 25 points on LVR to lead Sir Charles Tupper.Josh Matosevic scored 14 points and Vinnie Watson had 10 to lead the Bombers.LVR now drops into the consolation round and meets Vernon at 8:30 a.m.Bombers off to AAA Hoop Provincials; meet top ranked Tupper in opener WednesdayIt’s never easy being the 16th seed in any tournament.However, having to play the role of Giant Killers is something all-to familiar for Kootenay Zone rep, L.V. Rogers Bombers.The Bombers play top-ranked Sir Charles Tupper Tigers of Vancouver to open the BC High School AAA Boy’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Events Centre in Langley.The game tips off at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. “We are young and inexperienced heading into a tough first game against the No. 1 ranked Sir Charles Tupper Tigers of Vancouver,” said Bomber coach Jeremy Phelan, “however, we played Tupper in our first round game last year and know how to prepare for them.”Phelan takes a team with no seniors to the AAA tournament.And know it won’t be easy pulling of the upset.”Key to the game is taking care of the ball and not succumbing to their full court press,” said Phelan about what LVR needs to do against the Tigers.”We had 20-plus turnovers against them last year and lost by 22 points. If we can cut our turnovers in half we give ourselves at least a chance to win.”LVR pretty much owned the Kootenay zone this season. Except for Golden, and an upset loss to Fernie Falcons, the Bombers waltzed through the Kootenay teams.However, at the provincials the competition amps up several levels. Which makes even the slightest lapse in the game prove too much to overcome.”We’ve watched a lot of game tape on them so nothing will be a surprise if they stick to their game plan,” said Phelan.”(But) Tupper (second ranked in 2014) were likely disappointed with their fifth place finish,” Phelan added.”They returned many key players including their starting 6’4” post pair and a strong back court. They press full court and like to play a lot of zone defense to keep their rim protectors close to home.”LVR is led by the front line of Josh Matosevic, Vinnie Watson and Darian Johnson with Robby Dixon and Grade 10 point guard Eamon Studer directing the offence.”We match up quite well with them despite being young,” Phelan, who along with coach Dean Studer, head the sideline crew of the Bombers.”If we can play with effort and composure, and commit to helping each other on defense we may surprise a lot of people in this tournament.”The Bomber boys are the second team from LVR to advance to a provincial basketball tournament. The LVR Senior Girl’s played last week at the BC High School Girl’s AA Basketball Champion.The tournament runs through the week with the final set for Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Langley Events Centre.last_img read more

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SPEEDY SIRCAT SALLY, PRINCESS ROI & MISS SUNSET ALL PROMINENT AT ONE MILE ON TURF IN WIDE OPEN $200,000 CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS ON SATURDAY

first_imgMISS SUNSET: A winner of her first two starts at Del Mar last summer, including a crushing 5 ¼ length win at odds of 1-2 in the six furlong Generous Portion Stakes on Aug. 27, she made her third start here on Jan. 13, and lost all chance shortly after the start. Off at 2-1 against open company in a 6 ½ furlong allowance run over a muddy main track, Miss Sunset jumped tire tracks coming out of the seven furlong chute, causing her to completely lose her action and resulting in a last place finish. Bred by Premier Thoroughbreds, LLC and Alan Klein, she’s owned by Klein and Phillip Lebherz. A daughter of Into Mischief, Miss Sunset is trained by Jeff Bonde and can be counted on to show plenty of speed in her first try at two turns and turf. Cash Prize–Chantal Sutherland–119Cioppino Pasadino–Joe Talamo–119How About Zero–Mario Gutierrez–123Bella Luma–Rafael Bejarano–119Adios Cali–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–119Ms Wakaya–Kent Desormeaux–119Miss Sunset–Martin Garcia–123My Pi Romancer–Flavien Prat–119Sircat Sally–Drayden Van Dyke–123Princess Roi–Corey Nakatani–119 Race 5 of 10                                                                                                        Approximate post time 2 p.m. PST                 SIRCAT SALLY: Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, this dark bay or brown daughter of Surf Cat is undefeated in two starts and will be trying turf for the first time on Saturday. Dispatched at odds of 1-2 in her Soviet Problem score at Los Alamitos, she was 7-2 first time out in a six furlong Cal-bred maiden special weight race on Nov. 20 at Del Mar–a race she took in virtual gate to wire fashion by five lengths. She can be counted on to show plenty of early zip in the Oaks as she shoots for her third consecutive win. PRINCESS ROI: A one length, gate to wire winner at a mile turf two starts back at Del Mar on Nov. 17, she ran the best race of her career in Santa Anita’s one mile turf Blue Norther Stakes on Dec. 29, as she battled back gamely at the rail under Corey Nakatani, finishing second, beaten a head, while getting a career-top Beyer Speed figure of 72. By Roi Charmant, she was bred in California by GGG Stables and is owned by GGG and Russell Sarno. Trained by Richard Baltas, she has a win and three seconds from four overall starts. ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 25, 2017)–Freshened since a freakish 12-length win in one mile Soviet Problem Stakes on Dec. 17, Joe Turner’s homebred Sircat Sally will bring her front-running game to a mile on turf as she heads a field of ten sophomore fillies in Saturday’s $200,000 California Oaks at Santa Anita.In what appears to be a deep and contentious field of California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies, Princess Roi, who comes off a game second place finish at a mile on turf versus open company here on Dec. 29, and Miss Sunset, a rousing 5 ¼ length state-bred stakes winner going six furlongs two starts back, also figure prominently in the 28th running of the Cal Cup Oaks. THE CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS IN POST POSITION WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS CAL CUP OAKS IS ONE OF FIVE RACES FOR GOLDEN STATE SERIES-ELIGIBLE HORSES ON SUNSHINE MILLIONS/CAL CUP DAY AT SANTA ANITA There will be a special early first post time on Saturday of 11:45 a.m. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.last_img read more

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Liverpools front three is the best in the world – Warnock

first_imgAhead of their of their game at Anfield on Saturday, Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has praised Liverpool’s front trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah as the best in the world.Cardiff City face a difficult away game when they visit Anfield on Saturday to play an in-form Liverpool team and Warnock understands that his team has to be at the top of their game to get a result.Speaking in a press conference ahead of the game, he also heaped praise on Liverpool’s dangerous front trio, Cardiff City website reports.“I think their front three is probably the best around the world,” Warnock said.“But we’re playing quite well and I think we can cause problems. You’ve got to go there and believe. We’ve all got to play to the top of our potential to give them a good game, and hope that they have a bit of an off day.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“I know the lads are looking forward to it; it’s not every day you go to Anfield. It’s a special place for football.“After tomorrow’s game, we’ve played almost everyone in the ‘top-six’, with just Manchester United to go in December.We’ve had a tough run of games, but the crowd has been the biggest plus for us – the whole city has got behind us. It’s been special this season, and now we’ve got a big run of games leading up to Christmas.”last_img read more

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