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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Re-Wilding New England

As most of us drive across America's countryside and view the woodlands East of the Mississippi, Upper Midwest, the Rocky Mountain Spine, and West Coast.............they typical comment from those traveling with us is "wow, look at all of that wild land.............not built on..................seemingly virgin."  When you share with your passengers that only about 1% of the entire USA including Alaska and Hawaii is old growth, never built on open space, you are met with disbelief........"How can that be?......look at that beautiful forest!" Well, in fact it is beautiful and in fact it has probably been cut down 3 to 5 time since European colonization..........................We are blessed with sections of the USA having enough rainfall to "re-seed" disturbed land and re-grow forests. Most of our woodlands East of the Mississippi are no older than 125 years. When you look closely, you notice the slender trunk circumfrance of most of the trees. Here and there a "wolf tree"(wide and tall) stands out, a byproduct of an old farmers field where he had left a tree or two standing for shade or some other purpose. These wolf trees and other isolated woodland pockets were the seedbank for the last 100 to 150 year re-growth of our Northern woodlands..............Vermont and
neighboring East Coast States 55 to 80% wooded today versus 25-40% a Century ago...........and with the woodland re-growth, forest wildlife starts to return................Give nature a chance and she will respond! 
Enjoy David Foster's(Harvard Forest) insightful analysis of "Wildlife Dynamics in a changing New England Landscape....a great read---attached.

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