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The Cedars of Long Island

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  • The Cedars of Long Island

    There's a small stand of old growth cedars on Long Island. Surprising, because the island has been logged several times. The local natives could have used them for dugout canoes because some are ten feet in diameter at the base. But there they are, after all these years. Not many people have seen them 'cause it's over three miles of hiking from the nearest access point.

    What are you talking about Phil? There are no old growth cedars on Long Island, New York!

    Yes, I'm leaving out an important detail. This Long Island is in Willapa Bay, Washington. The south end of the island is about 100 yards from US 101, but the cedars are near the north end. You could get close by boat, but watch out for the tides! Willapa Bay becomes a vast mud flat at low tide. It is famous for its oysters.

    You mean they grow oysters on the west coast?

    Yes

  • #2
    Sometimes, big old cedars were left alive so that they could be continually harvested for wood sheets and bark strips for cord and basketry, as examples.
    Even north on Haida Gwaii, the kids are now doing school field trips to learn how to peel bark and weave waterproof hats.

    I'll bet some of the Long Island WRC trees are marked with evidence of cultural modifications.

    In Hilary Stewart's book: Cedar, there's a great diversity of useful products made from living trees.

    There's old growth 95km west of my place, a region called "The Ancient Forest." Inland temperate rain forest.
    The WRC are not as big as the ones on the coast but, the place has not been burnt for more than 4,000 years.
    It's all set up, even with wheel-chair accessible walkways.

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    • #3
      Yes, Robson Valley, I'm quite familiar with Hilary Stewart's book and the First Nations methods of removing useful materials from living trees. I don't remember seeing any evidence of such practices on these trees.

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      • #4
        Good. More of us need to be aware of the past. If there's no cultural modifications, might have been
        just too far away as you describe,

        Interesting as we have so few patches of Old Growth WRC, scattered all over the province.

        The Ancient Forest near me needs more display of ethnic activities. I think that's in the works.

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