Suwanee River flood plain   edniz
  Aug 26, 2003 03:53 PDT 

        The cover story for Mother Jones magazine (Sept./Oct., 2003) is The
Ungreening of America Rolling Back 30 Years of Environmental Progress. One
of the feature articles was on the flood plain of the Suwanee River. The
Suwanee (of Stephen Foster fame) starts in the Okefenokee Swamp and 
empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge has
 been created where it meets the ocean. The focus of the article was a rule
change in wetland protection that could threaten the flood plain of the
Suwanee as well as others in the nation. There was a full page picture of a
wonderful forest. Anyone familiar with old growth in that part of the

Ed Nizalowski
Newark Valley, NY
RE: Suwanee River flood plain   Joseph Zorzin
  Aug 26, 2003 04:32 PDT 

I've been on the river a few times, within the Okefenokee, back in the
'70s. I vaguely remember hearing then that very little old growth
remains in the area- even in the biggest swamps such as the Okefenokee-
where loggers removed logs with trains, after building rails up on
posts. If they got to the center of the Okefenokee, the wildest swamp in
the area, they surely got the more accessible timber- accept possibly
what may remain on old estates.

Of course we once thought there was almost no old growth in the
Northeast, until good old Burl-belly Bob and his buddies went looking
for it. Perhaps there are more scattered remnants along the Suwanee than
once thought- if anyone in the area goes looking for it.

RE: Suwanee River flood plain   Joseph Zorzin
  Aug 26, 2003 13:09 PDT 

It's not in the Suwanee watershed, but, the National Audubon has
Corkscrew Swamp at the northwest corner of the Everglades- which is, I
recall, as of the mid '70s, 10,000 acres- much (or some) of which is old
growth. It's mostly bald cypress, so it should be similar to the cypress
swamps along the Suwanee.

Re: Suwanee River flood plain    Dee & Neil Pederson
   Aug 26, 2003 15:56 PDT 

Hello All,

I spent a week in the Suwanee watershed last summer looking for old
trees in an attempt to reconstruct streamflow [they were in the midst
of a significant 4 yr drought and wanted a paleo perspective on how
severe that drought was - now it hasn't stopped raining I hear].

A buddy search out the best possible OG sites and then we cored
several trees in each to see how old they were. We found nothing
that we would consider OG. The area we searched was from Gainesville,
FL up to southern Georgia.

We found scattered old longleaf pine. They were severely suppressed
for 100 of more years and then were released from competition during
logging following WWII.

We were able to put together a chronology of sand post oak more than
200 years in length. These trees were "leftovers" in a cutover
longleaf pine ecosystem. Dave Stahle has a few fairly long post oak
chronologies from north central FL.

There was a floodplain forest in a state park [name escapes me] with
a structure that looked potentially OG. The few southern magnolia and
overcup oaks cored were young. It was not the most thorough survey,

We did not seek out baldcypress. I'm sure Dave Stahle has surveyed the region.

Finally, there is rumored to be an old-growth longleaf pine forest
in the heart of the Okefenokee. My friend was trying to get a
helicopter into that area to core and determine the age and condition
of this forest, if it actually exists.

Hope this helps,