Our Living Ancestors
The History and Ecology of Old-Growth Forests
in Wisconsin (and Where to Find Them)
Old-growth forests touch the soul of many people. Some hear the echoes of Native Americans or the first settlers. Some feel the great age of the trees and revere them, while others feel they are in the presence of an overwhelmingly rare beauty. Still others understand the profound scientific value of old-growth forests as reference systems for what forests can be.
Despite the remarkable emotional appeal and scientific value of old-growth forests, they are rare in Wisconsin. Only 0.3% of Wisconsin’s old-growth forests remain, but these scattered, small parcels still retain their ability to amaze hikers with their size, beauty, and elegance.
Where are they? This book directs visitors to the 50 best old-growth sites left in Wisconsin. Each site has clear directions, a listing of ownership, size, and age, and a description of its ecological features, with perhaps a story of why it was saved. A map and photo(s) illustrates each site. An additional shorter chapter includes the “50 Best-of-the-Rest.”
The book is for a general audience, but its wealth of rigorously-researched and profusely-illustrated data may also serve as a general reference for professional ecologists and conservationists.