Friday, February 6, 2015

We Need Trees

Being in a forest makes me feel... better 
                                                                       Breath in deeply.

The smell of pine or spruce is a tonic to my soul.  I am not the only one who has noticed this, apparently the Japanese have studied the phenomenon.

Forest bathing 
"The Japanese term Shinrin-yoku may literally mean "forest bathing," but it doesn't involve soaking in a tub among the trees. Rather it refers to spending time in the woods for its therapeutic (or bathing) effect.  Most of us have felt tension slip away in the midst of trees and nature's beauty.  But science now confirms its healing influence on the body. When you spend a few hours on a woodland hike or camping by a lake you breath in phytoncides, active substances released by plants to protect them against insects and from rotting, which appear to lower blood pressure and stress and boost your immune system." - Mother Nature Network 

Dead ash limbs at Mohican's  river campground B.
 Unfortunately, in Ohio something has gone wrong.  It is called Emerald Ash Borer.  Because of a little bug, which found its way here from over seas, much of Ohio's ash trees are going, going, gone.

Hauling away the remains. 
(Doesn't this spread the bug?)

State foresters downed hundreds of ash in the Mohican campgrounds and along the river picnic sites and the Lodge. These trees were deemed a safety hazard to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Mohican State Park each year.  I get that.  I really do.  They did the right thing.

It is a tragic loss. It was difficult to watch, especially at a time we need all the trees we can get for sequestering carbon.  Trees breath, too.  We are the beneficiaries of their by product, Oxygen. One might think we would preserve as many other species of trees as possible, now that the ash are gone.

Natural history- cut for removal.
 These trees were not infected with Emerald Ash Borer.  The red pines were likely planted by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) in the 1920's or 1930's.  After WWI millions of people were out of jobs, and the land of Mohican had been striped of trees and suffered erosion due to the poor timbering and farming practices.  A conservation crew was sent in to replant forests. These trees were our natural and national history.

 At the time all living trees are at a premium, these trees were cut.  Stumps and green vegetation is all that remains.  Now the Mohican Gorge Overlook, one of our most cherished locations, features stumps.

Since the laws  regarding State Parks were changed in 2012, now like our state forests, parks are free to profit from trees which are removed.  This is what a revenue stream looks like.

These pine were not dead or dangerous.  In fact, they look like wonderful timber.  We have many acres of trees that were planted in Mohican  which could have been harvested instead. Why destroy this very public area?

Our current park management has deemed we do not need these trees.  We need more grass, more mowing and less biodiversity.  I could have stayed in the city for that.

 Breath deeply.  Visit your State Parks and Forests, soon.  Don't take it for granted that the areas you most cherish will be there next week,

My Mohican, is gone. 


  1. Thank you for sounding the alarm call, Cheryl. I'll do my part to help spread the word, write letters, etc. It would be so very helpful to have links to who people should contact to voice their concerns. Is that something you could add to your post?

  2. Thanks for your support, Kim. I have a meeting this afternoon with 2 State Reps. I'll know better what direction to go from there.

    Stay tuned, Friends of the Forest!