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Book Launch to Celebrate History of T-Burg’s Smith Woods (Apr 18, 2017)

(ITHACA, N.Y.) Just outside the Village of Trumansburg is Henry A. Smith Woods, a 32-acre plot that is one of the largest remaining flat tracts of old growth forest in the Finger Lakes region. This small but spectacular place, with its enormous trees, dense forest canopy, and never-plowed ground is a glimpse into the past. A walk through this small forested area may be the closest one can get in central New York to experiencing a landscape that European settlers first witnessed.

Smith Woods: The Environmental History of an Old Growth Forest in Central New York State is the detailed story of how this forest came to be, and how it persisted through the years when other old-growth forests met their demise by the axe and saw. Combining perspectives from geology, ecology, history, and anthropology, the authors weave a narrative history of the many influences that have shaped this patch of land over the past 20,000 years. It is the story not just of Smith Woods, but of the forests that once covered almost all of northeastern North America.

A presentation and question-and-answer session to celebrate the book will be held at the Ulysses Philomathic Library on Wednesday, April 26th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Authors Dr. Warren Allmon (Director, PRI), Marvin Pritts (Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University), and Kurt Jordan (Assoc. Professor, Anthropology, Cornell University) will talk about how this patch of land was preserved, what it can tell us about the human and pre-human history of the region, and its ecological importance.

The book will be available for purchase and signing at this event. The event is free and open to all. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additional information the Smith Woods can be found at

Smith Woods is owned and maintained by the Paleontological Research Institution and its Cayuga Nature Center.

About the Paleontological Research Institution

The Paleontological Research Institution pursues and integrates education and research, and interprets the history and systems of the Earth and its life, to increase knowledge, educate society, and encourage wise stewardship of the Earth. PRI, along with its two public venues, the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, is an affiliate of Cornell University.