By Edward K. Faison

Highstead Foundation


1. A brief ecological history of southern New England (SNE)

2. some of the important ecological and forest conservation issues in SNE

i. forest fragmentation

ii. deer and forests

iii. non-native species

iv. missing old growth forests

v. decline of early successional habitats

vi. wildlands vs. managed woodlands

3. stewardship and management: applying values informed by history and science

Part 1. History

Fossil pollen from lake sediments reveals the structure and composition of past landscapes

DR Foster 2017. A meeting of land and sea

“When the Pilgrims came to this continent, New England was covered by forest interrupted only where lakes or bogs and river swamps made tree growth impossible; where sand deposits near the coast were unsuitable for closed stands; where fire or windfall had temporarily destroyed the forest; where Indians had burned the forest (especially near the coast); and where rock outcrops occurred in the more rugged sections.”  (E. Lucy Braun 1950)

A. Bierstadt 1858 Gosnold at Cuttyhunk

From forest to farm field (1620-1870)

Changes in wildlife populations with changes in vegetation structure