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Posted Mon Sep 8 2008: from Times Herald-Record:
Out of the ashes, a local forest is reborn
Touring the scorched mountaintops recently, Chapin and a group of local biologists were excited by the opportunities the spring forest fire left behind. See this sassafras, with its mitten-shaped leaves? Park staff have never seen so much. And the witch hazel and the wintergreen and the Indian cucumber root? "We have more of it than we ever did," said John Thompson, a natural resources specialist with the Mohonk Preserve. "Some species are already responding to the openings on the forest floor." The burned acreage has also attracted rare birds, such as scarlet tanagers and Canada warblers, plus porcupines, bears, bobcats and rattlesnakes. It's an influx of biodiversity that's drawn scientists to the site all summer.
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