Recognizing and Protecting Ancient Forests

by Joan Maloof, Ph.D.
Old-Growth Forest Network

Originally presented at the 2021 Annual Fall Conference, November 6, 2021

Trees are the largest plants, and the forests that they create when they grow together unimpeded are habitat for many, many species. The complex structure of a forest that has been left to grow naturally for hundreds, or even thousands, of years creates homes for species from salamanders to fungi. Even the dead and dying trees play an important role in these ancient forests. Join Dr. Joan Maloof as she discusses how to recognize old-growth forests, and what makes them so special. She will also share information about the organization she founded – the Old-Growth Forest Network.  

Joan Maloof is a writer, an ecologist and a conservationist with a unique voice in today’s times. She has studied and worked with plants her entire life; her formal education includes a bachelor’s degree in Plant Science, a master’s degree in Environmental Science, and a Doctorate in Ecology. She is a professor emeritus at Salisbury University where she taught Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies. Maloof is the author of numerous research articles and five books: Teaching the Trees (2005), Among the Ancients (2011), Nature’s Temples (2016) The Living Forest (2017) and the just-released Treepedia (2021). In addition to her research and writing, Maloof founded an organization with the goal of creating a network of protected forests across the US; that organization, the Old-Growth Forest Network, now has thousands of supporters. Maloof works to educate others regarding the extent and condition of our forests and to encourage their preservation.