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Archive for October, 2011

Update: more photos from this year’s trip; video on my Facebook page.

This is a hemlock in North Carolina’s Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, blasted to smithereens by the U.S. Forest Service. All along the 2-mile trail, which we hike each year on our trip to Snowbird, are these blasted stumps.

Apparently the Forest Service fears that they might fall on hikers, so they took ’em down. In places it looks like a devastated moonscape. It will likely be years before it recovers. The hemlocks have been blighted by the invasive insect called the woolly adelgid. The lower trail is startingly bare, but the upper loop with the giant hundreds-year-old poplars is in much better shape. Ironically, with so many hemlocks now down, you begin to realize how many of them are still standing – dead, of course.

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