Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Carnifex Ferry, in West Virginia, added to the Old-Growth Forest Network

Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park dedicated as Old Growth Forest site

            SUMMERSVILLE, West Virginia – Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park has been recognized as part of the Old Growth Forest Network. Joan Maloof, founder and director of the Old Growth Forest Network, presented a certificate of recognition to Supt. Sam Cowell Thursday April 16, 2015.
            The old growth forest found in Pierson Hollow in the park is one of only four dedicated forests in West Virginia and is the only forest dedicated in Nicholas County. The trees are between 250 and 300 years old; the oldest tree is reported to be 400 years old.
            The area is open for visitation year-round and can be accessed by taking the Patterson Trail across from the museum parking lot and then the Pierson Hollow Trail at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park. To learn more about Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, visit www.carnifexferrybattlefieldstatepark.com

About the Old Growth Forest at Carnifex Ferry
            Nestled in the Pierson Hollow area of Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park are 30 acres of old-growth forest on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon of West Virginia. At the start of the trail, hikers will pass through late successional stands with yellow poplar and hemlock trees dominant in the lower area. Oaks dominate the upper slopes and some pine stands are found on the flats. Dense rhododendron thickets are along the stream and trail. This is one of the nicer virgin areas left in West Virginia, according to the website www.oldgrowthforest.net.
            As hikers continue down the hollow, the trees are older and the canopy is dominated by hemlock and tulip poplar with an occasional northern red oak. There are several generations of course woody debris on the forest floor, which were augmented by the heavy snows of super storm Sandy in October 2012 which tore the crown off many mature trees.
            Joan Maloof, Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University, founded the Old-Growth Forest Network to preserve, protect and promote the country's few remaining stands of old-growth forest.
            Dedicated forests in West Virginia are Preston County: Cathedral State Park (scheduled for dedication April 22, 2015, at 10 a.m.); Nicolas County: Carnifex Ferry State Park; Fayette County: Stonecliff Old Growth, New River Gorge National River; and Pocahontas County: Gaudineer Scenic Area, Monongahela National Forest.

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