Zoar Valley is Gorges

Zoar Valley is Gorges

By Wil Stoner, Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment

As many of you already know the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area Draft Unit Management Plan is due out this summer. The plan will cover the future management of the area. A coalition of environmental groups named Friends of Zoar Valley have come together to ensure that the ancient forest within the area is protected and Valentine flats remain off limits to motorized access. Recent correspondence from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) acknowledges these requests and mentions that no mature trees will be cut within the area. Although we may be optimistic, we will not be assured until we see it in a formal Unit Management Plan.

Recently, Friends of Zoar Valley had a two day hike event in the canyon of Zoar to explore and map new “Old-Growth”. The exploration led the group to an area that has been termed the “Gallery of Giants”, because almost every tree is sight is at least 5 feet in circumference and as big as 10 feet in circumference. The diversity of the area was remarkable. The trees ranged from black-walnut and black-cherry to tulip trees to hemlock to sugar maple. The diversity mixed with the tremendous size and age makes this area extremely rare for western New York. The purpose of the event was to introduce nature lovers to the majestic beauty of the area and take personal ownership. The more people that love the area the easier it is to protect it.

A “Guide to Ancient Forests of Zoar Valley Canyon”,by BruceKershner is available for $10.45 at 3144 Main Street Buffalo, NY. 14214. Checks made to CCE.

For a “virtual” tour of Zoar visit hometown.aol.com/stonerorlando/page1.html


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.