Halloween is the time when ghosts of ages past appear! It is not only the ghosts of those people who have past though that can be seen haunting our historic places but plants as well as shown in this spooky ‘ghost’ of a tree that was cut long ago! This tree graveyard is located in Rattlesnake Lake which is about 45 minutes outside of Seattle in the Cascade Mountains. Originally the lake was the town of Moncton; a small community of 800 which disappeared under the lake after the town was flooded in 1915. While no one in the town died in the flood the spirits of the long ago felled trees remain.
Why the face?
The ‘face’ that you can see carved into the tree is from a logging technique called springboards. When loggers needed to get above brush or other barriers when cutting down trees they would put notches into the tree into which they would insert their springboard. This gave them a platform to stand on from which they could operate their saws. A Haunting Reminder Logging has been an important cultural and economic aspect in the Pacific Northwest for over 100 years. The ancient forests provide many communities with a source of income from the timber. These forests do not exist solely for our economic benefit. They provide habitat for wildlife such as birds and mammals. They also provide critical ecosystem services such as preventing soil erosion by holding the soil in place so that the rain does not sweep it away.
Habitat loss from endeavors such as logging is the leading threat to wildlife. There are many reasons for this. The first is the removal of critical habitat through cutting down trees. The effects of clear cutting are evident while driving down many of the highways or back roads throughout Washington and Oregon. Large areas that were once full of ancient trees are now gone, leaving a slow healing scar on our hillsides. A second threat is from fragmentation. When trees are cut or roads put in for logging the habitat is cut into pieces. A road might not seem like a large area to cross for humans but they can present significant barriers to wildlife that run the risk of being hit while crossing the road. Many insects also find difficulty crossing what to them are giant expanses of unknown and dangerous terrain.
The National Wildlife Federation Connection
The National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to protecting wildlife and their habitat. Find out more about our work and about the threats from Habitat Loss! You can also discover ways that you can Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat® for wildlife in your own back yard!