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Can We Preserve New England’s Resurging Forests?

Forests cover nearly 80 percent of New England. (Stephen Rose/AP)

Forests cover nearly 80 percent of New England. (Stephen Rose/AP)

In the mid-19th century, the writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was living in Concord and writing about the region’s fragile wilderness. He wrote: “The bear, wolf, wildcat, deer, and marten, have disappeared.” Back then, farming, logging and hunting had decimated New England’s forests and wildlife. But today the forests are back — and cover 80 percent of the region. New England is now the most heavily forested region in the country, and yet it faces new threats, including housing construction and urban sprawl.

Last November, we talked about this with David Foster. He’s director of the Harvard Forest, a 3,500-acre research center in Petersham, Mass.


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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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