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Cedar Swamp at the Tracker School Primitive Camp

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This website has no official or informal connection to the Tracker School or Tom Brown Jr. whatsoever.

 
Behind the Tracker Primitive Camp is (or was) a large cedar swamp. Filled with towering ancient cedar trees in the days when Tom was young, much of it has been clearcut logged over the years.

The following pages present both the beauty and destruction of this area.

  

A small road leads along the edge of the cedar swamp from the main area of the Tracker Camp.

The clearcut areas are visible to the right. 

  
Further along the road.
  
Looking to the right, you can't miss the areas that have been wiped clean of the giant trees over the years.

This picture was taken at the Caretaker class in 2001. 

  
The most recent clearcut area (2000).
  
Another view of the most recent clearcut (2000). The devastation is virtually complete.

Yes, shrubs and trees will grow in this area again, but it will take Nature hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, to grow a cedar swamp full of huge ancient trees once again.

A cedar forest is not merely a bunch of trees growing, like a field of corn. It is an entire ecosystem, with many different types of plants, animals, insects, fungi, microclimates, mosses, birds, etc etc.  It takes a lot of years to build all this up into a true cedar swamp like it once was.

 
  
A close look at the ground of the recent clearcut area.

What is growing up first are the small shrubs, such as blueberry, dogwood, and bayberry. Left to themselves, they will overshadow and crowd out any young cedars that manage to start growing.

Note also that the sun will have a significant drying effect on the soil. This in turn will help to "pull" moisture out from the still-existent mature cedar swamp forest, drying it out.

So it's not enough to just leave the remainder of the cedar swamp alone....it is being heavily impacted by the mere existence of the clearcut areas.

  

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Some of these photos were taken at the Caretaker class in Nov 2001, others in Oct 2001
Copyright Walter Muma

 

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