Bruce Kershner Heritage Tree Preservation and Protection Act  

TOPIC: Bruce Kershner Heritage Tree Preservation and Protection Act

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Date: Mon, Nov 3 2008 12:59 pm
From: "Edward Frank"

New Protection Act for New York

The law is named after environmentalist Bruce Kershner, who passed away in February of 2007. Kershner had made it his mission to protect old growth forests especially, and is credited with discovering almost 300 of them in eastern North America. He was also an author, and wrote 12 books on nature and the environment, including The Secret Places of Western New York and Southern Ontario.

New York has an estimated 400,000 acres of old growth forest, mostly in the Adirondacks. Kershner was a staunch advocate of the protection of these forests, pointing out that once they were gone, they would not be replaceable for many generations. The bill inspired by Kershner's work will offer those forests the highest possible level of protection through the State Nature and Historical Preserve.

Though the bill is the first of its kind in the United States, officials hope that other states will look to New York as a role model, and be inspired to create similar laws of their own.


News from Landis Arboretum

For more information contact: Thom O'Connor, 518-875-6935

Initiative Named After Amherst Naturalist Bruce Kershner

SCHOHARIE REGION (09/30/2008; 2122)(readMedia)-- New York State Governor David Paterson signed the "Bruce Kershner Heritage Tree Preservation and Protection Act" into law on September 5, 2008. The measure, sponsored by Senator Mary Lou Rath (R-C-I, Williamsville), chair of the Senate Tourism Committee, and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D, Buffalo, Grand Island), is aimed at protecting the remaining old growth trees and forests in New York State.

According to Fred Breglia, ISA Certified Arborist at the Landis Arboretum, "This law was something that was desperately needed," said Fred Breglia of the Landis Arboretum. "Its passage is the first step in preserving the remaining stands of old growth that are left in New York. Hopefully other states will look to New York as a role model for the development of similar laws. Working with Senator Mary Lou Rath and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt to help create this very important law is just one of the many ways the Landis Arboretum (The Capital Regions Arboretum) is helping to foster the appreciation of trees and their importance in our environment." Mr. Breglia also is President of the New York Old Growth Forest Association, which he cofounded.

Bruce Kershner, of Amherst, passed away in February 2007. He was an award-winning environmentalist and author of 12 nature books, including The Secret Places of Western New York and Southern Ontario.

Bruce Kershner was a staunch advocate for our old growth forests," said Senator Rath. "He discovered over 300 old growth forests across the northeast, where no one believed they still existed. By preserving and protecting these remaining forests, including the Zoar Valley, this measure is intended to carry on Mr. Kershner's efforts."

It is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 acres of old-growth forest in the state, primarily in the Adirondacks. Western New York, including smaller areas and the Zoar Valley, has over 700 acres.

Although most of the primeval forests that once covered New York State and the entire Northeast were cleared many years ago as settlers first moved west to develop farms and communities, there still remain small vestiges of this original forest tucked away in overlooked corners of the state. Originally most remained uncut because the terrain where they are located was so challenging that logging was impracticable and farming impossible. Over the years, owners have continued to leave these woods essentially untouched either through oversight or a desire to protect this unique asset. Many exist within public lands across the state, including the Adirondack Park, Allegheny Park, Letchworth Park and parts of the Zoar Valley.

The bill focuses on the concept heralded by Mr. Kershner that if these forests are allowed to be destroyed, they are probably gone forever, and are certainly not replaceable within our lifetimes, or the lifetimes of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

The bill also adds old growth forests to lands deserving protection in the State Nature and Historical Preserve, the highest protection afforded to the unique treasures of our state.

In addition to a providing a link to our past, these trees represent an important part of our future," said Rath. "From a tourism standpoint, people are attracted to these forests and the beauty and sense of wonder they inspire."

The bill is the first of its kind in the United States.


Edward Frank

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both. "
Robert Frost (1874-1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 3 2008 2:16 pm


This is an incredible accomplishment - a lifetime project for our dear friend Bruce that has come true for the benefit of all. Bruce was tireless and as determined as anyone I ever knew. He battled the entrenched forces in New York's DCE and won. That is power to the people.

Bruce has a memorial in MTSF established by his family. I plan to visit the memorial in the next week. It is in an out-of-the-way spot, just as Bruce requested.