After a pleasant walk through the woods that surround the community, we came to the top of a ridge where the trees seemed taller and older. A visiting forester is almost positive that some of the trees are old growth and plans to come back and bore the trees to be completely certain. Boring is when a hollow metal tube, or increment borer, is drilled through a tree until it reaches the center. As it is drilled, the borer collects a sample from the tree, and by counting the rings in the sample, you can determine the tree’s age.
An old growth forest is a forest that hasn’t undergone any major changes or disturbances for at least 100 years. Although they are called old growth, these forests contain a mix of both young and mature trees. Old growth forests are very bio-diverse because they provide a lot of unique habitats, such as snags (standing dead trees) and fallen trees. These habitats are home to a lot of plants and animals, including rare, threatened, and endangered species, that are found primarily in old growth forests. Destroying an old growth forest also destroys the habitats of the species that call it home. While the forest can be replanted, it would take decades, if not centuries, for the forest to reach old growth status and once again provide a unique home. (sources: www.dnr.state, www.oregonwild.org)
Building the pipeline through the old growth forest in the Shannon Farm Community will fragment the forest and its habitats. The forest is home to a wide variety of creatures, possibly endangered or rare species – creatures that may not be able to survive with a pipeline cutting through their home.