The Last Days of Wildcat Falls

Yesterday I went on a hike to an out-of-the-way corner of the Ottawa National Forest called Wildcat Falls. A sizable group had gathered along the gravel road to walk back to the waterfall – nearly a hundred people, I believe. The reason we were there was that by the end of this week, Wildcat Falls and the surrounding parcel of land may no longer be in public hands; if we return next week, we might be trespassing. The U.S. Forest Service is planning on trading this parcel to a private land developer in return for an equivalent area of… clear cut. The developer plans to log this area and then subdivide it for residential lots. (Click on any thumbnail to bring up a slide show.)


There is no way that my hastily shot photos can do justice to the waterfall with its water stained golden by tannin, or to the ancient rock outcroppings and magnificent  stand of old-growth hemlock and cedar surrounding it. It was breathtaking. Several groups have filed an eleventh-hour appeal trying to convince the Forest Service, and if you would take a moment to sign the online petition sometime in the next couple days, I would appreciate it. At the end of the week someone is going to print out the “signatures” and hand-deliver them to the office where the decision is being made. (And heck, go ahead and sign it even if you don’t live in the U.S. You still know what old growth forest means. Maybe a few signatures from the U.K., Australia, etc. will help catch someone’s attention.)

If you still need convincing, here’s a YouTube slideshow comparing the Wildcat Falls area with the land it’s being exchanged for:

Thank you!

14 thoughts on “The Last Days of Wildcat Falls”

  1. I will be signing the petition as soon as I finish this comment. I would like to find where in the civil service manual the requirement that Federal employees take leave of their senses is so that I could start a movement to have that requirement removed.

  2. When you think of how ancient some of that precious habitat is, what right do us humans have to destroy it. This is sadly another case of human greed (monetary) and ignorance dominating. Our ecosystems face destruction at a faster pace than at which it is possible to replenish them. Without these ecosystems, human beings will eventually cease to exist.

    Sorry for the rant but I feel it has to be said.


    Tony Powell

  3. Signed, posted x 2
    Hoping for a good outcome. Have you guys tried to find a threaten or endangered species on the land? You might be able to stop the exchange if you find one, animal or plant.

  4. So sad.

    Brings to mind the quote:

    “Only when the last tree is cut down, only when the last river is poisoned, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize they can’t eat money.”

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