This past weekend, G and I visited Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga (another Wilderness Weekends in Western New York site). This Preserve has a unique history, and includes several man-made roads and ponds (thank you, Dr. Reinstein). There is a mix of planted, non-native trees such as Scot’s pine, and native, old-growth forest. There is also an assortment of invasive plant species, coming together to form a “novel ecosystem”.
We are both very familiar with the preserve because G was an intern at Reinstein in winter 2012, and he lived in the intern cabin on site.
It was a cozy home, and we both miss it (though we do not miss riding our bicycles along Union Road).
G has not had many opportunities to visit since he moved to Pennsylvania last year, so we stopped in to the Visitor’s Center, and then took a loop around the trails and ponds.
We saw the New York State Champion Beech Tree… …looking rather diseased.
And, of course, several resident deer.The deer present a cute but serious problem for the old-growth forest at Reinstein Woods. There is no hunting permitted in Reinstein or the neighboring Stiglmeier Park, and the deer population has growth to an absurb level. Unfortunately, there is little to no regeneration of the forest trees, and it is only a matter of time before the oldest trees die. G and I think that DEC must act on this- the deer population should be controlled by safe, reliable means. Until it is, Reinstein will remain an interesting, enjoyable place for a walk, but also a place that leaves me feeling frustrated and sad.