Local forest becomes part of a network of protected forests


One local forest was dedicated by an organization that works to identify and protects the state’s oldest forests.

Community members and outdoor enthusiasts came to celebrate the dedication of a local forest in Ritchie County.  Giant Tree Trail in North Bend State Park is being dedicated to the Old-Growth Forest Network.

The Giant Tree Trail forest is near 25 acres in size, 15 of those acres have old-growth characteristics and, after the dedication, is now one of more than 60 forests throughout the nation belonging to the Old-Growth Forest Network.

“Being able to identify a tri-active forest that’s old-growth, meaning that it hasn’t been logged, is pretty rare in our state.  The fact that that is present here in North Bend really truly is a gem that the rest of the park is going to celebrate,” said North Bend State Park Superintendent Steve Jones.

The dedication began at the trailhead and attendants were given the opportunity to hike the trail following the event which is the opportunity officials were hoping for.

“It’s going to give us the opportunity to share that with generations in the future and share with them the reasons why it’s important to keep these areas and protect these areas that are unique like this,” continued Jones.

“The most important thing is that a forest is protected from commercial logging.  Whenever anyone comes back to the forest, it’s always going to be standing here,” said Old-Growth Forest Network Founder Joan Maloof.

The mission of the Old-Growth Forest Network is to connect people with nature and create a national network of protected, mature, publicly accessible native forests.  

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