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Museum Screening & Panel to Feature Old-Growth Forests

June 25, 2018
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eastern white pines by Ray Asselin

A new film about the history and science of old-growth forests in central New England will premiere at the Fisher Museum in Petersham on Tuesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m.  Remarks and a brief panel discussion will follow the 1-hour documentary and feature the filmmaker, scientists interviewed in the film, and conservation leaders looking to preserve these forests in central Massachusetts. The event is free and open to the public, and will close with an audience Q&A.

Today, far less than 1 percent of forests in New England are considered “old-growth,” meaning they have not been cut since European settlement. Throughout the region, these forests are scattered over only about 100 sites, several of which are in Massachusetts, mostly on ridges that are difficult to access.

The film, called The Lost Forests of New England, includes rich footage of these rarely-seen, old trees, and tells the story of what the forests once were, the changes that have taken place since European settlers arrived, and the state of those remnant old-growth forests today. It took two years to make the finished product, which filmmaker Ray Asselin says is his most ambitious to date.

The panel will feature: 
Ray Asselin, Filmmaker, New England Forests blog
David Foster, Director, Harvard Forest
Scott Jackson, Board Chair, Kestrel Land Trust
Bob Leverett, Co-founder, Native Tree Society
William Moomaw, Professor of Int'l Environmental Policy at Tufts University's Fletcher School
David Orwig, Forest Ecologist, Harvard Forest
Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy, Mass Audubon

The wild areas that include these old-growth forest sites are a key part of the Wildlands and Woodlands conservation vision co-authored by many scientists at the Harvard Forest, with colleagues around the region.

(Photo by Ray Asselin)

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