Henry’s Woods inducted into national forest network of old-growth trees

Written by on June 11, 2021

Henry’s Woods inducted into national forest network of old-growth trees

By Megan Frank

June 11, 2021

Jacobsburg State Park in Nazareth is home to the only remaining old-growth forest in the Lehigh Valley.

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It’s called Henry’s Woods, and the largely virgin forest has deep roots in the region. According to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the 122-acre area hasn’t been logged or disturbed much since the 1800s. 

This month, the forest was inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network, a special designation that will keep it safe for decades to come.

As part of the recognition, Pennsylvania will prioritize protecting and maintaining the forest. It’s home to eastern hemlock trees that stand up to 130 feet high.

Joan Maloof, founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network, says only one percent of original forests remain in America.

“That means everything else has been logged at one point or another,” explains Maloof. “So, we want to make sure that these small remnants of beautiful, bio-diverse old-growth forests remain.”

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn says the forest was left untouched during the Industrial Revolution a time when a lot of old-growth trees were logged.

“We really denuded Pennsylvania of it’s old-growth forests, and only about one percent of Pennsylvania was left with its old-growth forests, which is really a travesty,” said Dunn.

The Old-Growth Forest Network plans to recognize an old-growth forest in each county in the U.S. 

Henry’s Woods is the 15th forest to be dedicated in Pennsylvania.

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