Update from Abigal, to NC and Green Swamp

Interviews, photos and clearcuts. The last few days have been a whirlwind, and I cannot believe these forests are being clearcut for packaging…


Now I’m down at Lake Waccamaw, a large shallow lake west of Wilmington that’s one of the Carolina Bays. I’ve been talking with local folks about the distinctive characteristics of the lake, such as the limestone bluffs that give the lake its neutral pH.This pH provides habitat for several rare fish, mussels and snails, some of which are only found at Lake Waccamaw. There are several endemic plant species here as well, both at the lake and in the adjacent Green Swamp, home of the venus fly trap and other carnivorous plants. (This Photo is me in a 1,000 year old Cypress Tree just outside the Green Swamp)

I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with some of the Friends of the Green Swamp (FOGS), who were recently victorious in defeating a new mega-landfill slated to be constructed just a few miles from the lake.FOGS succeeding not only in keeping the landfill out of their own backyard, but also in passing a state-wide moratorium
on the construction of new mega-landfills.

Now that the landfill (which may have imported garbage from places as far away as New York)
is defeated, FOGS is looking to re-instate curbside recycling in the area in an effort to reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place.Addressing consumerism as a root cause of “the problem” quite resonated with me, since I’ve been touring around the region documenting all the unique ecosystems being decimated by the mass
conversion of trees into disposable paper packaging products.

I also had a chance to go down the Pamlico-Tar river with Heather Jacobs, the Pamlico-Tar’s Riverkeeper, and hear about both the ecology of the watershed and the threats to it posed by logging and development.

Swamp Sunset

A few days ago, Eva and I met up with Andy Wood, a naturalist with Wilmington Audubon and quite a wealth of information.In the Holly Shelter Game Lands north of Wilmington, we went for a walk in the woods that border the Cape Fear River, exploring some wetlands, poccosin and long leaf pine forest. Along the way we learned several native plant species, visited a
thousand year old cypress tree and caught a glimpse of the rare fox squirrel. We were still walking through the long leaf pines and discussing their growing patters when the sun went down in a fantastic sunset and it began to get dark. Check out this sunset on the Cape Fear River, wich runs right through The Green Swamp.

Next stop, SE Virginia… home to the Franlin, VA Mill.

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