Fischer Old-Growth Forest
Majestic, magical, inspirational, with trees over 150 feet tall, this site is a sanctuary in every sense of the word. The best of the few remaining examples of pre-settlement forest in the region, this old-growth forest is notable not only for the extreme size of many individual trees but also for the very high number of tree species—at least 23—of canopy size. Among these is yellow oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), a locally rare species. The preserve totals 41.8 acres, with almost 30 acres of old-growth forest. Almost every tree was marked for cutting. The property was acquired by Cotton-Hanlon Inc., a company that manages forested lands for timber harvest, with the intent to log it. Saving this old-growth forest involved years of negotiations between Cotton-Hanlon and the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas Committee. Acquired in 1997, the Fischer Old-Growth Forest is named to honor Richard B. Fischer (1919-2005), professor of environmental education, for his delight in natural history and his tenacity and can-do attitude toward environmental protection, which he shared with his many students.