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-   -   Huckleberry Mtn - Johnsburg 11/14/21 (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=28257)

SteveSam 11-14-2021 07:20 PM

Huckleberry Mtn - Johnsburg 11/14/21
 
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We hiked Huckleberry Mountain in Johnsburg from South Johnsburg Rd. Our approach was across the property that NY state purchased from the Open Space Institute earlier this year. The trip began on old logging roads and then a series of open rock ledges. We hit some pretty thick woods as we approached the top of the ridge. There are extensive areas on the upper part of the mountain with lots of relatively new growth, downed trees, and evidence of past forest fires. The footing was pretty slippery with the recent rain and snow. It was great fun to explore this beautiful area looking down on the high valley between Crane and Huckleberry and views up to the snow on Crane. We will definitely be back to do some more exploring. The photo is looking south on the ascent past the shoulder of Crane with Moose and Baldhead in the distance.

Tick Magnet 11-15-2021 10:36 AM

Nice addition to the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest! I love the amphitheater view of Crane. Looks like a great place to explore.

Thanks for sharing

Pauly D. 11-15-2021 10:00 PM

Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard about this one. It's on the to-do list now.

SteveSam 11-18-2021 07:51 AM

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I was wondering when the fire occurred on Huckleberry so I did some searching through an online newspaper database. The only fire that I could find was from August, 1929. There were numerous articles from across the state. It is hard to believe that the standing burned trees that we observed have been there for more than 90 years, maybe there was another large fire more recently, but I did not see any articles about one.

montcalm 11-18-2021 08:32 AM

Do you have any pics of the burned area?

You might be able to surmise something by the trees that are growing near the burned remains by how old they are.

Really hard to estimate that because they grow slow on poor sites but the ones in your first pic don't look very old at all.

SpencerVT 11-21-2021 07:48 PM

Great report and photo. Huckleberry Mtn looks really cool to explore. I like how it gives a unique perspective of Crane and has some views. I will keep this one in mind to check out!

SteveSam 11-24-2021 10:57 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by montcalm (Post 287753)
Do you have any pics of the burned area?

You might be able to surmise something by the trees that are growing near the burned remains by how old they are.

Really hard to estimate that because they grow slow on poor sites but the ones in your first pic don't look very old at all.

Here are a couple of pictures from near the top of the ridge that show the downed and standing dead trees. I did not get any good pictures of the burned trees, but these are representative of the many dead trees along the ridge. The thick growth is not shown in these photos and it is relatively new.

montcalm 11-24-2021 11:25 AM

Hmm. I bet it burned again more recently. That sure doesn’t look like 90 years post fire.

No idea how long that dead standing wood can hang around but 90 years seems optimistic. Also all that downed wood seems pretty fresh.

I'm absolutely no authority but I'd guess 30 years or less.

Have you been up on the north ridge of Sleeping Beauty? That has burned a couple times, and once in the past 20 years or so. It looks a lot like that does.

SteveSam 11-25-2021 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by montcalm (Post 287822)
Hmm. I bet it burned again more recently. That sure doesn’t look like 90 years post fire.

No idea how long that dead standing wood can hang around but 90 years seems optimistic. Also all that downed wood seems pretty fresh.

I'm absolutely no authority but I'd guess 30 years or less.

Have you been up on the north ridge of Sleeping Beauty? That has burned a couple times, and once in the past 20 years or so. It looks a lot like that does.

I was not able to find any articles about a more recent fire, but I did find a picture of Huckleberry in Barbara McMartin's Old Roads and Open Peaks and there are no dead trees along the cliff line. The book is from 1977. There is no description of a bushwhack up Huckleberry in the original book. She republished the book in 1986 with Backcountry Publications and that version includes a bushwhack up Huckleberry. She states the Huckleberry summit had "a spectacular open forest of red pine". She made no mention of a burned area. The fire must have occurred after the early to mid 1980's. I found another photo online from 2012 that showed the standing dead trees that I observed.

montcalm 11-25-2021 10:21 AM

Sure sounds about right. Those dead trees look like Red Pine to me. Actually it looks like a few survived it and only were burned on the bottoms.

Who owned this before OSI? I'm looking at their website and it says they acquired it in 2016 with the intent of transferring it.

https://www.openspaceinstitute.org/n...in-adirondacks

It seems it was still publicly accessible since McMartin wrote about it in 1977. This is a bit confusing to me...

dundee 01-12-2022 06:26 PM

There has also been some sort of red pine dieback going on. I noticed it at Crane Mt. Pond a couple of years back; not fire, but many dead standing intact trees.

If there is some disease happening, it wouldn't take much to spread to Huckleberry.

montcalm 01-13-2022 10:32 AM

http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/facts...inedecline.pdf

I believe we have beetles that will attack them if they get stressed, so it could be any number of factors.

It's tough to tell if fires did occur though. You often times don't really find any charred wood, and if you do it can be easy to misidentify mold as char. Rotting wood can often turn black like charcoal, but it's still smooth unlike the characteristic blocking of burned wood.

I know of some areas (both in the Adirondacks and elsewhere) where fires did occur in the last... well probably going on 40 years now for one I'm thinking of. But 20-40 year range, and the best evidence that can be seen there was any disturbance is the fire road and berms used to fight it. There are a few charred stumps remaining, but they are hard to find. New growth looks like any old second growth forest in some cases.


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