"Sometimes you've got to loose yourself to find what your looking for".
Burt Reynolds as "Lewis" in Deliverance.
As a further thought of my former post, the irony of this environmental loss is the desire to renew it. This is done by true conservation, not the not the current "Environmentalism" that is polluted with political motivations.
Once throughout the large part of the eastern United States the American Chestnut was king. It often grew up to 100ft tall, and one was recorded as 17ft through. It bloomed in June when the threat of frost was gone, so it was able to produce more mast than any other trees of that nature. The chestnuts came in burs so they were in a chest of some sorts, hence the name. Chestnuts were high in proteins for both animals and people. Both the Indians and "settlers" burned off the leaves to expose the nuts to gathering or game/stock. Places in the Mountains of Appalachia named Yellow what ever were named for the chestnuts given it a yellow appearance in the fall. Early last century a blight brought in by the Chinese Chestnut wiped out the most of the species. They were pretty much history, only "Snags" standing off in the woods by WWII. The wood is excellent for about any use (Moonshiners used it for their fires because it didn't smoke up as much as some other types of wood). Wormy Chestnut came from these snags. The loss of the chestnut was a devastating thing culturally and economically. But the chestnut is a tenacious tree. I've seen them standing over twenty feet and putting out burs before the blight hit them. My former Father in law told me of one that was as big as a twenty year old poplar until the power company cut it down. A few are able to fight it off. But ironically the same tree that imported the blight that devastated it will be the one to contribute to it's return, thanks to the American Chestnut Foundation
. By crossing the two a hybrid will be reproduced that is blight resistant. I've been involved with the Asheville Chapter and it's something I plan to be involved with again upon my return from this dusty wasteland.
The thing is, people see the issue and address it with a reasonable, scientific approach.
Once the Appalachians had big game not only in deer, bear and turkey, but elk and buffalo too. The buffalo, for whatever reason were a fading thing upon white settlement. I'm personally not sure why, I've read things that indicate this, but no reason given. Elk were throughout much of the region too. They had been recorded as far south as Greene County Ga. by William Bartram prior to the Revelution. But, through loss of habitat they died out. It's often said a species is over hunted, but, I personally feel that is an over statement...Look at Alabama's Deer Population, something I remind North Carolinians about Coyotes and Deer...I've seen many more Coyotes in Alabama than Western North Carolina and they have way many more Deer than the latter. Over hunting can be a problem at certain stages, but habitat is as much an issue of everything. Elk have been reintroduced
to Appalachia at a place called Cataloochee. I was there when I was home on leave. Me and my Father took a ride up there, we took some great pictures I now have on disc. This was an effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Friends of the Smokey's, and others. It was rough for them at first, but they are coming along. So is the Red Wolf. Elk are also in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky.
Hogs are non native and I'd kill everyone if I could. They root up the woods and crowd what belongs there.
As I said before Farm Land and Private Forest Land are in rapid decline. The North Carolina General Assembly is making an effort to reverse that. It requires $1 Billion in Bonds
, which unfortunately means taxes. As much as I don't like that, I'll take it. It would all be gone if we waited for something to reverse the trend.
Iraq news...I just sometimes don't feel like talking about my day to day...The Jinude get three little bottles of water a day, as I said, not enough. I talked to the Iraqi leadership about getting "water buffalo's" at the posts. All of the ones in stock (some are very cheap ones bought from local contractors, who rape the system) were promised out. The other day I was checking if they had the posts straight when they came handing out 5 gallon Jerry cans of non potable water for washing...An Iraqi Solution. I have found if I continue to express the problem, they will find a solution.
That top picture is of Transylvania County NC, those are Chestnut Logs.
Wake up Appalachia, it's time for you to solve your problems...