gaforestwatch gaforestwatch

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🌲georgiaforestwatch🌲  Working to preserve, protect, and restore Georgia's National Forests. Photos by Forest Ecologist Jess Riddle and Sue Harmon.

Old-growth forests in Georgia don't always look like what you might expect. The second shot in this series shows a trio of old white oaks, one if which cored out at 240 years old! The third shot is a 353 year old chestnut oak disguised as an ordinary tree. All these are located in the Mountain Treasures area called Grassy Mountain near the Emery Creek Trail.

Following up on the effects of the Rough Ridge fire, we can see that the exposed soil is great for Virgina pine regeneration. Red maples and sassafras are resprouting, too.

Mountaintown Creek has the second largest roadless watershed in North Georgia. Only the Conasauga River in the Cohutta Wilderness is larger. Yes, we are working to promote greater protection of this Mountain Treasure area.

At 174 feet tall, this white pine is one of the tallest trees in Georgia, and the tallest known tree in the Cohutta Mountains. We're doing the work, collecting the data, to get this Mountain Treasure area assigned a greater level of protection under the next Forest Plan.

This is what usually happens when we get around big trees.

The barred owls were active on the drizzly day we were exploring Mountain Treasure area #Beardenmountain.

Scouting for the big trees in the "Valley of the Giants", land set aside to be preserved, (before the Wilderness Act!), as the Cooper Creek Scenic Area, way back in 1960. Thanks Charlie Wharton.

fire pink fire works!!!

Rhododendron cumberlandense in full glory on top of Rocky Mountain above Andrews Cove yesterday.

Jess was out exploring another Mountain Treasure Area: Tray Mountain Wilderness Extension: Lily-Leaved Tway-Blade, rare Goldie's Fern, and lots of evidence of hogs 😖. ForestWatch collects the data necessary to advocate for increased protection of these special areas.

What started out as a hunt for the Cerulean Warbler evolved into a side trip to the state champ Mountain Laurel, and rambles that led to Lily-Leaved Tway-Blade, Carolina Bush Pea and a common but nevertheless endearing fuzzy Tussock Moth...among other things. And no we could not confirm the Cerulean, even tho we really wanted to 😏

It was a white flower day!

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