The Doc Kudish Natural Forest at Paul Smith’s College will be formally inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network on Saturday, October 23rd.
Joan Maloof, founder and Executive Director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will present a plaque to Dr. Michael Kudish, to celebrate the dedication of this protected forest.
Formerly known as the “Tongue Tract 1, Stand 105,” the forest is being renamed to honor Dr. Michael Kudish, author, botanist, forest historian, railroad historian and retired professor emeritus in the Division of Forestry at Paul Smith’s College.
Kudish’s lifelong study of the history of the Catskills forests started with his Ph.D. dissertation work at the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University in 1971. He has since published The Catskill Forest: A History (Purple Mountain Press, 2000), three books on the vegetation of the Adirondacks and numerous articles on forest history of both the Catskills and Adirondacks. Additionally, he has written volumes on the subject of railroads in the Adirondacks and the Catskills, the region of land to which he has devoted his life’s work.
The Doc Kudish Natural Forest is a 76-acre stand of hemlock-northern hardwood which includes some 30- to 40-inch diameter hemlock, yellow birch, and sugar maple, and all the structural indicators of old-growth forest.
The ceremony will be held in Paul Smith’s College’s Joan Weill Library, Adirondack Room, at 1 pm, and will be followed up by a woods walk at the Forest (shuttles provided).
The mission of the Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) is to connect people with nature by creating a national network of protected, mature, publicly accessible, native forests. The organization’s goal is to preserve at least one forest in every county in the United States that can sustain a forest, estimated to be 2,370 out of a total of 3,140 counties. OGFN’s program works to identify forests for the Network, ensure their protection from logging, and connect people to these properties to experience old-growth forests. OGFN also educates about the extraordinary ecological and human wellness benefits of old-growth forests, and speaks out regarding immediate threats to specific ancient forests.
Founded in 2012, OGFN has over 140 forests in 25 states currently in the Network. Doc Kudish Natural Forest will be the fourteenth New York forest to join the Old-Growth Forest Network. It will join Zoar Valley Unique Area in Cattaraugus County, Thain Family Forest – New York Botanical Garden in Bronx County, Old Growth Trail – Green Lakes State Park in Onondaga County, Ancient Forest Trail and Woodland Trail – George Landis Arboretum in Schoharie County, Ampersand Mountain in Franklin County and more. The full list of forests in the Network may be found online.
Photo of trees in the Doc Kudish grove by Joan Maloof.