As forest returns in New England, so do inhabitants

 

 

Photo credit: Boston Globe

New England sees a return of forests, wildlife

These woods are lovely, dark, and back

By Colin Nickerson GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

A wilderness comeback is underway across New England, one that has happened so incrementally that it’s easy to miss.

But step back and the evidence is overwhelming.

Today, 80 percent of New England is covered by forest or thick woods. That is a far cry from the mere 30 to 40 percent that remained forested in most parts of the region in the mid-1800s, after early waves of settlers got done with their vast logging, farming, and leveling operations.

According to Harvard research, New England is now the most heavily forested region in the United States — a recovery that the great naturalist Henry David Thoreau once thought impossible.

Meanwhile, some creatures of fur and feather have returned at astonishing speed — herds and flocks where there were just remnant populations; clear evidence of ecosystem revivals occurring over decades or even years, instead of centuries.

Read the full story: Boston Globe

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.