Friday, April 25, 2008

Nature Conservancy Hike at Keystone Ancient Forest

The rugged oak and cedar trees of the Cross Timbers are the transition of eastern forest to tallgrass prairie and are found less then 15 miles from Tulsa, OK. This ancient forest is made of trees that are 300, 400 even 500 years old. They are made up of post oaks and red cedars. The craggy terrain has left developers unable to use the area, wildfires couldn't swarm these bluffs. There was no clearing for grazing or crops which have cut away 80% of the ancient forests elsewhere in the cross timbers range. The cross timbers originally covered 30,00 square miles, stretching from Texas through Oklahoma and into Kansas.
American writer Washington Irving passed through in 1832 and wrote of the "vexations of flesh and spirit" that caused the travelers to feel as though they were traveling through" forest of cast iron".
This is the first park or preserve dedicated to these historic forest.

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