College Lodge Educational and Nature Walk set for Monday

On Monday from 5:30 p.m. until dusk, an educational Nature Walk will be held at the College Lodge in Brocton.

Participants can meet at the College Lodge at 5:30 p.m. or in the Jewett Hall parking lot at 5 p.m. for carpooling. SUNY Fredonia professors and local professionals Terry Mosher, Bill Brown, Kevin Fox, James Hoggard and Jon Titus will lead the walk. Members of the community and other stakeholders are invited to attend the Nature Walk to learn more about the history and ecosystem of this beautiful natural area. Participants will learn about the impacts of the proposed forestry plan; the differences between a “managed forest” and a “forest preserve”; the distinctions between native, non-native, and invasive species; and will discuss other options for the forest.

Community members are also encouraged to attend the Fredonia FSA’s (Faculty-Student Association) Open Forum public meeting on Tuesday, July 23 (2:30 to 4 p.m., Williams Center, Room S201, SUNY Fredonia campus). They may also submit written comments to the FSA. An electronic copy of the FSA’s forestry plan, as well as a College Lodge fact sheet, can be obtained by sending a request to titus@fredonia.edu.

Purchased by SUNY-Fredonia students in 1939, the forest was intended as a nature preserve. The 200 acres of forest at the College Lodge is a mosaic of stands of different management history, species composition, and age on the divide between the Mississippi and St. Lawrence watersheds. Much of the area is very high-quality mature forest that is now quite rare in the region (forests of this quality make up less than 1 percent of Chautauqua County’s forests). Whether or not this forest contains New York State-defined old growth has been debated; in any case, many trees are more than 150 years a old. Visit www.ancientforests.us/heritage/HeritageTreeAct.htm or www.ancientforests.us/OldGrowthNY.htm#CHAU to learn more.