BFRO / Official BFRO Question and Answer / Archives / 02-27-2012 / the great eastern forest

Topie: the great eastern forest Page: 1 2
September 6th, 2011 02:17 PM
rgdunc0907 I would like to pose a broad and open-ended question and that is:
What is the “state” of the great eastern forest? By that I mean all the land between the Atlantic ocean and the Mississippi River, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
It is my understanding that 500 years ago, this area was entirely forested.

It is obviously not that way now, but with respect to man’s activities (forestry, mining, agriculture, urban sprawl, the damming of rivers, pollution), and sasquatch’s food sources, is the sasquatch being forced into smaller and smaller pockets of habitat in this region, or is the sasquatch’s range stable or expanding?
September 6th, 2011 03:36 PM
dpeer With regards to the state of michigan, which was entirely logged off except for the porcupine mountains and hartwick pines state park, the forest is healthier now than a hundred years ago. Forestery methods are much more sound and healthier for the forest now than compared to then, which simply consisted of cutting everything. I think sasquatch are able to expand their territory now, more so than a century ago. I would say it is stable and expanding.
Don Peer
Michigan Investigator
September 6th, 2011 07:00 PM
narrowfoot I think the same is true of Wisconsin. In addition to expanding forests for cover and hunting in some areas, human agriculture provides a lot of food. There is certainly lots of development, but there is also lots of habitat.
September 6th, 2011 08:43 PM
Stan Courtney Many people think of Illinois as a land of only corn and soybeans or urban sprawl. However Illinois has 4 1/2 millions acres of woods, 87,000 miles of wooded streams and rivers. And in the urban area, known as Chicagoland, there are 27,000 acres of woods. Historically Illinois was a land of mainly prairie, hence the nickname "Prairie State" but that does not mean we don't have our share of woods and bigfoot reports.
September 7th, 2011 11:59 AM
BethinFL Not an expert, and I've only lived in Florida for 10 years, but you hear things about buildings encroaching into habitats and the Everglades being drained, etc. I know there are still plenty of wild and wooly areas down here, but I can't imagine that it hasn't had an effect on wildlife.
September 7th, 2011 12:05 PM
barlowROC according to New York State DEC website: "New York state is 63 percent forested -- forests cover 18.9 million acres of our 30 million total acres." 18.9 million forested acres in the great state of New York. Like most states, as Don mentions above for Mi, the state was practically stripped of wood to make room for farms and for the timber industry, and at the turn of the 20th century NY was only %23 percent forested with great tracts of open land on defunct farms. Those were targeted throughout the early 20th century for reforestation, and the state planted millions of pine trees (of various species) on this land. Today's managed forests in New York are vast, deep, dark and the perfect place for a previously unknown nervous and smart hominid to hide out.
September 7th, 2011 12:41 PM
Eric34 I read a report about Kentucky recently that says the state is still over 49.6% ( Tenessee was pegged right at about 50% or so ) forest land coverage mostly under private management, and that around the year 1900 the forests in Ky were considerably less..however education in land management and better forestry practices and conservation has allowed for alot of the forest land to be recuperated. However just about anywhere east of the Miss R is their any "virgin" timberland left...its mostly 2n growth its not, per say, the forest that the indians saw or our ancestors but its forest nontheless. In the whole state of West Virgina for example their only exists about 300 acres or so of actual virgin timber left unfortunately.

NOTE: I need to correct this..Kentuckys actual forest coverage now actually exceeds 50% of total state land area[b]
(Edited by Eric34)
(Edited by Eric34)
(Edited by Eric34)
September 7th, 2011 01:05 PM
MarkW Similarly for northern New England. New Hampshire, Vermont, large now-forested swathes of Maine were cleared for farming, sheep grazing, etc. I don't know the percentages, but NH and VT are now largely reforested (or at least re-wooded).
September 7th, 2011 04:23 PM
peterG Ohio has more forest then at any time since the 1800's and more deer than ever.
September 7th, 2011 07:54 PM
Eric34 Here are some facts:

over 2.7 billion trees are planted annually in the United States
there are 737 million acres of forests in the U.S.
more trees are growing in the U.S. today than 70 years ago
the U.S. still has 70% of the forests that were here in 1600

the timberlands of the U.S. now contain 28% more standing timber volume than in 1952
there are 82% more hardwoods today than 40 years ago
in the U.S., most hardwoods grow east of the Mississippi River
U.S. citizens are growing twice as much hardwood sawtimber volume as is being consumed
forest growth rates have exceeded harvest rates since the 1940's
57 percent of the forestland in the country is owned by private individuals
there are 9.9 million forest owners in the country
annually, the average American uses the equivalent of 1 tree, 100 feet tall and 16 inches in diameter for paper, lumber, and other wood products
each year, six new trees are planted for each tree that is harvested
forest products companies rank among the top 10 employers in 40 out of 50 states with an annual payroll of $44 billion 2,3
about 53,000 forest products companies employ 1.7 million people in logging, sawmills, furniture and cabinet plants, and paper mills
insects, tree disease, wind storms, and wildfire consume almost as much wood each year as people use
national parks account for 88 million acres in the U.S.; they do not allow timber harvesting or hunting
national parks were established to preserve natural features, exceptional beauty and areas of historical interest; they include battlefields, lakeshores, memorials, monuments, preserves, recreation areas, scenic trails and wild and scenic rivers
national forests were established by law " furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States..."; they pay 25% of gross receipts from timber sales directly to states for county roads and schools - hundreds of millions of dollars each year
September 8th, 2011 08:07 AM
DMargaretW Pennsylvania is 59% forest.
September 8th, 2011 08:15 AM
DMargaretW This website says 62%.
September 8th, 2011 08:58 AM
Eric34 If these trends continue we can see even more forest reclamation in the next 50 to 100 years of good management and forest conservation measures continue...this is a subject that I am very interested in :)
September 8th, 2011 01:05 PM
Cotter In addition the the 'rewilding' of the American landscape, people will be more apt to urbanize to reap the benefits of the technology of today, potentially creating an even more uninterrupted life for BF.

As more local, state, and national parks/refuges get developed, the less of a chance of residential type living arrangements will pop up in said areas. Perhaps an increase in BF population could result.
September 9th, 2011 10:14 AM
MrEd In my area the PNW, there is little funding and some state and national parks are not being developed, in fact even being shut down.
September 9th, 2011 10:36 AM
rgdunc0907 great responses so far.

what about all the strip mining and 'mountain top removal' mining in the Appalachians? Can sasquatch ever live in those areas again?

what about the wild hog population? Are they bad for sasquatch because of the damage they can do to the forest ecology, or are they a benefit simply as another source of protein?

September 9th, 2011 12:04 PM
rgdunc0907 wrote:
great responses so far.

what about all the strip mining and 'mountain top removal' mining in the Appalachians? Can sasquatch ever live in those areas again?

what about the wild hog population? Are they bad for sasquatch because of the damage they can do to the forest ecology, or are they a benefit simply as another source of protein?

More meat!

I have a Texan friend that has a business where he goes out and eliminates range owners problems with hogs. He has had a problem with hogs in the past himself.

… a side note I sent him the link were a hog hunter encountered a BF in the Texas area!
September 9th, 2011 02:47 PM
rgdunc0907 wrote:

what about all the strip mining and 'mountain top removal' mining in the Appalachians? Can sasquatch ever live in those areas again?

Halibut effect. Takes time...but I would say yes.
September 11th, 2011 04:00 PM
Andy Here (NY State) we have lots of forest...but almost none of it is old-growth.

So, these forests support ecosystems that are little like the ones that can thrive in an old-growth forest.
Some of the forest giants are actually extinct (chestnuts, anybody?).

In the old forests, each tree would cover a huge amount of ground, with great shady clear spots beneath--and their roots engaged in a sort of chemical dance with everything from insects to fungi, and that was the bedrock of all the food chain.
Nothing is the same as it was.

Plus, our forested areas are scattered--it's not one great "Sherwood" forest any longer.

Only animals that have been able to adapt to the new order have thrived (white tails...for them we might have created the perfect living quarters!). But Bigfoots seem pretty adaptable in terms of their behavior, if not their biology, so perhaps it's not as bad for them as we fear.
If deer and bear are finding enough food and shelter, Bigfoots probably are too.
Deer and bear are, however, having population control problems, and are becoming urban wildlife, which is not so great for us or them.

I wonder if the evidence/sightings show that the number of Bigfoot reports stemming from actual towns or suburban back yards has gone up over the years? Or not?
September 12th, 2011 04:16 PM
Eric34 Andy - I agreed with almost everything you wrote except for when you said

"Plus, our forested areas are scattered--it's not one great "Sherwood" forest any longer."

Believe it or not lots of the forest areas in our nation ARE actually quite connected, if you look at the whole spine of the appalachians going down from the Canadian border to North Georgia its fairly un broken, also areas of the Ozark mountains as well. Actually it never was a a"one great forest" anyways in our country, for example, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and even parts of Alabama for example...before the 1600s there were small prarie areas an unforested areas even in those times. In Illinois for example..some of those wooded river bottoms follow un broken tracts of wooded land for many MANY miles extending like fingers all throughout the state. Regarding deer and forest reclamation its all about smart wildlife and conservation management...some of the best of which are ironically enough "hunters" themselves...they are some great conservationists. I think conservation in the USA and forest management...while all beit not perfect...deserves to be applauded especially when you look at the old historic maps and see actually how great the extent of deforestation there was in 1900 and how much we have reclaimed since then...and the better forest management practices...we need to keep up the good work and I think our country is on the right path with this. I am hoping they will be able to add to the national and state forests more protected acreage and also teach private landowners better forest management. With this we can maintain steady forest coverage levels and good habitat for a wildlife while at the same time having a good supply of timber available and other forest products which are good for our economy :)
September 13th, 2011 09:16 AM
Andy That was our hero, Teddy Roosevelt, a profound speaker in favor of reforestation. . . and himself a hunter (read his book about big game hunting...terriffic!).

I actually largely agree with you, but still think the forest character just isn't what it once was.

There are lots of woods that connect to each other today, but that's not the same ecosystem that was here in, say, 1300. Can you imagine the amount of mast that all those extinct chestnut trees produced? Today's little woods are not as productive, even if they are large.

The forests of N. America have always been altered to one extent or another by people, as long as people have ben here, because the population of prehistoric or even more recent Native Americans then living here (rather a larger # than you might think) were agrarian and so had cleared large tracts--either by chopping or burning.
They didn't husband animals, though, and were dependent on the forests for their meat (like Europeans in the middle centuries...which is why poaching the 'king's forest' could get your hand chopped off); it must have been common to find larger animals, if not quite so many deer as today.

I think, for some adaptable animals, the fields and orchards of today are a far easier and more dependable source of foods than the forests of yesteryear. But that's not quite the same diet, or as varied a diet.
Bears are adaptable (they are omnivores), and they vary their diet over the stretch of their season. Grass and shoots in the spring when they wake up, berries and summer fruits and grubs and so on during the hot months, and finally fattening mast and nuts in the fall before denning. Bears are a great example of an animal that has adapted to human-altered landscapes. Their population reached a sort of tipping point and now we are just getting them everywhere. Everywhere. On my deck, even.
September 13th, 2011 02:11 PM
I am hoping they will be able to add to the national and state forests more protected acreage

.gov (both Fed and State) don't have the funds to buy, but the NGO does. The Nature Conservancy and Cleveland Museum Of Natural History are big buyers in my area.
September 13th, 2011 03:44 PM
narrowfoot Even in an old growth forest, trees were not immortal. Eventually they died and came down, and smaller trees replaced them. If we maintain the new forests, we will someday have that situation, though of course it will take hundreds of years to replace the ancient giants among the eastern trees. And we will have to deal with too many imported invasive plants and diseases.

The American chestnut tree is not extinct, contrary to common belief. It also has very similar European and Asiatic relatives which can be used to make it genetically blight resistant. But its devastating story is eerily similar to what is happening now to the pine and ash trees. Asiatic blights and insects are the great danger to American forests and yard trees.
September 14th, 2011 01:59 AM
forestgal Regarding old growth forests vs new: Obviously the character of the forest is different and certain animals (like certain birds) need the old growth. But for a whole lot of animals new growth is better. The old growth forests shade out the understory so deer and other animals have trouble finding things to eat and can't find cover. Newly forested areas are full of food and cover.
September 14th, 2011 08:06 AM
Eric34 Andy - Thats true the forest today was much different than the forest..per say in 1300 or even 1600 but regarding the amount of mast..actually due to the great availability of hardwood lumber, and good forest management practices..I think there is still plenty of Oak and Hickory coverage. One of the advantages of Oak/Hickory species is they have the ability to grow in very poorly drained, rocky soils and over worked soils. Traditionally for example in Kentucky where my family tend to see the Oak/Hickory forests growing mid-level along the hills and ridges all the way up to the tops of the hills and ridges. This is some of the poorest the advantage is that they can grow in such poor soil types...the disadvantage, is that they grow very slowly. Also not to mention like Narrowfoot said...Chestnuts are rare but not extinct...there are patches of them surviving along the upper NC fringes of the country along the most northernmost limit of the Chestnut trees MIchigan and this part of the country the climate has generally too many days of prolonged cold weather for the blight to survive. So although its not virgin timber and we dont have the huge trees ( some pieces of furniture frtom the colonial days speak of solid "one-piece" Oak, Beech or Hickory tabletops and you cant get board feet cut wide enough to have single pieces that big ) I think todays forest is much better managed and more economically viable...recyclable so to speak...just read the statistics I found and posted above...I was actually quite surprised.
Ok what I am going to say is just a "hunch" a theory per say, but maybe this is why the amount of sasquatch sightings in the "eastern US" are up. Could we speculate that due to great forest management, conservation, replanting and reforestation is causing these animals to return and frequent certain areas where maybe they havent been seen in some time due to the depleted natural resources and virtually ravaged forests around 1900. And with the planting and re introducing of conifers and Oak/Hickory species and reforestation...this has opened up the eastern ranges of the US for these animals maybe to come back down from Canada or from isolated pockets to find sustainable resources again in certain areas...with plenty of acorns and nuts and more coverage and concealment. I will speculate and guess that we will see sightings in the eastern US "rise" as forest reclamation continues. My personal un-informed opinion is that during 1900 they ( squatches ) retreated to isolated pockets in the appalachians, Ozarks, upper midwest and Canada...but now they are on the march and returning to these areas :).

For example...take the newest BFRO report posted from Virginia/West Virginia:

I find it interesting that this report mentions a find of some droppings or "scat" of some kind that contains "acorns" associated with this sighting report...could this be contributed to the return of high levels of squatch sightings in the eastern US? More trees, more hardwood forest recplamation, more acorns, more food sources? Just a hunch....take a read.
(Edited by Eric34)
(Edited by Eric34)
September 14th, 2011 11:27 AM
narrowfoot It should be pointed out, too, that stretches of new forest always existed, courtesy of fires and tornados and hurricanes. I remember that clear cutting and replanting of pine woods in the south has allowed some plants to grow that had not been seen in decades of forest management to restrain fires. In the ancient forest, there was always a mix of old and new growth areas. The eastern part of the US was mostly forest, and now it's mixed forest and farmland (which also provides food).
September 14th, 2011 01:16 PM
Andy It would be nice to think that conservation efforts over the last 50 years and into the future were having a salutary effect on wildlife, Bigfoot included. . .

I read that report--how I wish that everybody would carry a pocket camera or at least a cell phone & take pictures of everything!
What I'm seeing here in NY State and on up into Ontario is that a lot of the forests are still pretty much under seige. Nobody can clear-cut any longer, which is good, and yes, there are lots of treed areas, but unless government entities really stay on it,
There's a lot of urban expansion in the golden crescent area of Ontario (around the W. end of Lake Ontario beginning in the Niagara Peninsula and curling around to Toronto and points East along the North shore). The city is expanding up towards Barrie and North and is beginning to eat into some of the managed forests there (pine...planted in rows like crops! or, sometimes in circles, in order to create little clearings for sunlight to go through and forest-floor plants to grow...a bit smarter). Some of the Niagara housing is. . . unsettling to look at and lacks any sense of maintaining greenspace.

Worse are the insect pests. I've lost huge, huge trees on my property due to beetle infestation (Asian longhorn) and we are now all bracing for the onslaught of the emerald ash-borer. There are more woodpeckers than you can shake a stick at--all fat and sassy from eating bugs.
We've also got a few nasty diseases, but nothing so bad as Dutch Elm (yet), although the DEC in NY is worried about the plum trees (all mine died) and the maples (sick).

On the upside, the DEC here in NY and the MNR up in Ontario do their level best with diminishing funds, and the various Land Conservatory groups try to pick up the slack using donations of private land, and then $$ to support that land, and volunteers--stewards--to watch over it.

I like the idea that the eastern sightings of Bigfoots may have been made possible by a sort of southern range expansion down into the eastern US by way of Canada.

This is sound theorizing, because that's just exactly what wolves and coyotes did, and perhaps some puma.

Everybody feeds the birds. . . can Bigfoot Feeding Stations be far away?
September 14th, 2011 02:26 PM
My personal un-informed opinion is that during 1900 they ( squatches ) retreated to isolated pockets in the appalachians, Ozarks, upper midwest and Canada...but now they are on the march and returning to these areas

The native peoples got driven out I suspect the same thing applies for BF
September 15th, 2011 08:42 AM
Andy Well, the native peoples were surely driven out, but first they were decimated--entire villages and entire groups killed--by diseases to which they had no immunities. It makes me shudder, just shudder.

These diseases included measles, chicken pox, smallpox, rubella, STDs, typhoid, typhus, polio, strep throat & scarlet fever, and. . .probably the flu.
All the things we consider childhood annoyances, and a few that were a bit more deadly (even to Europeans).

By far the worst was smallpox. That's the one that simply emptied villages from one end of the continent to another. There are records from New England about native "ghost towns." Horrifying. The same thing happened in the Pacific islands--

Once a population is decimated, it is easy to sweep them from their lands.

Here is what's interesting:
Apes are sometimes (often) vulnerable to human diseases. This is why chimps sadly get used in research. stands to reason the Bigfoots may be vulnerable to human diseases as well.
It's entirely possible that their populations went into decline after an initial contact with Europeans.
They also appear to live in fair isolation--groups or pockets, family groups widely spaced, perhaps wandering individuals--such that there are still probably untouched populations, or populations with ineffective immunities. . .and of course they don't get immunizations for things like polio.

This is why, if you or your kids are sick, even with a cold, the flu, a sore throat, strep, or ear infection, or you are not immunized properly, you might want to think twice about Squatching, particularly in very remote areas where small, insular populations of Bigfoots may not have had human contact.
Really, how would you feel if you were responsible for knocking off a few family groups of Sasquatch?
It was one thing for ignorant (or, later, not so ignorant and inexcusable) arriving Europeans to carry diseases...but it's quite another to do it when you ought to know better.

Not meaning to hijack a thread on trees, but it's also about ecosystems, and diseases are part of ecosystems, whether we like it or not (mostly not!).
September 15th, 2011 09:52 AM
narrowfoot Actually it's an apt comparison. Our trees are like the native human populations. They do not have immunity to imported diseases and pests. The Americas were isolated for so long from Eurasia and Africa that either everything and everyone lost immunity, or diseases changed and there was no exposure to induce immunity. It's interesting that, although a lot of European pioneers died, they don't seem to have contracted diseases that were peculiar to Native Americans. Did this immunity crisis occur on a one way street?
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