Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Clear Cut

During our hike to find the summit of Buzzard Roost, we had to hike through the South Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Now, most people think of preservation when they hear a term like "wildlife refuge". Nothing could be further from the truth. What the term means is that the area is closed to some minor types of development, but open to regulated hunting. Things such as access roads and logging and even mining are allowed in such places.

In the case of our hike, we had to walk through an extensive clear cut. Some types of wildlife enjoy a temporary population increase in places where the forests have been totally felled to the bare earth. Shrubs and weeds offer browse for rabbits, deer, turkey, grouse, and some other forms of game. But it wrecks the forest and ruins the forest ecosystem that existed before the clear cut.

Here, then, are a few photos of our hike through the South Mountains Game Land clear cut.

Staging area for heavy equipment.

I don't even want to think of what hiking this area would be like in summer.

No comments: