More than 80 acres of forest at Paulson Preserve in Jefferson has been formally inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network.
Within the Schoharie Land Trust’s 342-acre Paulson Preserve, lies the Paulson Preserve Old-Growth Forest, an 80-plus acre forest of mixed hardwoods and conifers including stands of large hemlock trees.
The woodland was recently designated as old-growth forest by the Schoharie Land Trust, and is now a part of the Old-Growth Forest Network.
The forest is reverting from former farm fields and contains stone walls and an abandoned road that provides public access to the property, according to Schoharie Land Trust President Andy Mason.
There are also active beaver ponds on the property in addition to beaver meadows that contribute to the variety of wildlife and flora present on the land.
The entire Paulson Preserve is open to the public, with access from Rum Hill Road in Jefferson, and from Baldwin Road in Summit.
Directions and further information are available at www.schoharielandtrust.org.
The mission of the Schoharie Land Trust is to protect the beauty, land, heritage and rural character of Schoharie County and adjacent areas by acquiring real property, holding conservation easements, and providing technical assistance and planning information to landowners, public agencies, and others interested in safeguarding our natural assets.
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 old-growth forests so all generations can experience native biodiversity.
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 100 forests in 23 states currently in the Network.
The Paulson Preserve Old-Growth Forest will be the 11th New York forest to join the Old-Growth Forest Network.
It will join these New York forests already in the Network:
Thain Family Forest - New York Botanical Garden in Bronx County.
Zoar Valley Unique Area in Cattaraugus County.
Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve in Cortland County.
Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Erie County.
Ampersand Mountain in Franklin County.
Sucker Brook Trail - West Canada Lake Wilderness in Hamilton County.
DeVeaux Woods State Park in Niagara County.
Old Growth Trail - Green Lakes State Park in Onondaga County.
Fischer Old-Growth Forest in Tomkins County.
Ancient Forest Trail and Woodland Trail - George Landis Arboretum in Schoharie County.
The full list of forests in the Network may be viewed at www.oldgrowthforest.net.
“We are delighted to be able to add the Paulson Preserve Old-Growth Forest to the Network as a forest representative for Schoharie County,” said OGFN’s Sarah RobbGrieco.
“We want to thank Jim Sullivan, Andy Mason and the whole board of directors at Paulson Preserve for their efforts to preserve this remarkable forest. They recognize how important it is that irreplaceable old-growth forests are formally protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
Designation of the forest as old-growth means it will never be logged or otherwise altered except to allow public access, Mr. Mason said.
“It will take generations before the forest reaches its climax as truly old-growth, but we are starting the process with vision and commitment for those who will come after us.”
The Old-Growth Forest Network relies on volunteers to identify and qualify forests for inclusion in the Network.
In Schoharie County, Shawn Bevins is a volunteer County Coordinator and was instrumental in helping to include the Paulson Preserve Old-Growth Forest.
Interested volunteers should contact OGFN at: www.oldgrowthforest.net.