Sunday, June 27, 2004


When you visit the mountaintop villages at a certain PRIVATE COMMUNITY not too far from Asheville with me, you will be amazed at the old growth forest the developer of that land has set aside to preserve in perpetuity.

This old growth forest looks largely as it would have 200+ years ago before Europeans settled North America. You can almost feel it breathe! Old growth forests are 'originals'. They are our immediate connection to ancient history and the lessons available to us there that we can use today. These living systems with their ongoing cycles of birth and death and growth and decay can be deceiving to the human eye. It may appear to us as if nothing is changing. Yet nature’s countless cycles are at work from sunrise to sunset and into the night.

What is unique about old growth forests is that those cycles have continued uninterrupted over a very, very, very long time!

The great old growth forests such as the one at this particular Private Community, still have experienced little or no direct disruption. Each forest seems to have a particular character. Of course, the old growth forests vary in appearance from forest type to forest type. An old-growth oak forest on a dry ridge will differ greatly from an old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. But there are still forests to be found all around the USA even though less than 0.6% of the forest that remains in the East today has not been heavily logged or grazed, and forest types attractive to loggers may now be numbered only in the hundreds of acres.

Many clients are interested in setting aside preserves, something I specialize in and encourage(--my clients have set aside in preserves or private family holdings hundreds of acres and numerous waterfalls!--- click here to see a couple now available for you to preserve as land legacies:

Clients ask me if the remaining old-growth forests are protected. My answer is that at least 50% of the remaining old growth is still in private hands or controlled by agencies that may log them. Logging of old growth buffer zones can create the incursion of non-native species and damage the old growth forest.

Old-growth forests have been characterized as "the key" to biodiversity. The invaluable roles they play include making unique contributions to the gene pool; harboring native species; demonstrating natural processes; and serving as cores for future large wilderness areas and as nodes of biodiversity. 

The developer of this private mountaintop community in the Greater Asheville area near  Burnsville, North Carolina has set aside a 100-acre, old-growth forest in perpetuity, and maintains a forest interpretive center with a resident naturalist.

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