By Andrea Brunais and Josh Nease
When a state wildlife biologist in Georgia stumbled upon an undiscovered stand of half a dozen American chestnut trees in 2006, he said the experience was like coming face-to-face with Bigfoot. Lovers of the natural world, he said, wish they could turn back the clock to protect two U.S. species: the ivory-billed woodpecker and the mighty giant of the arboreal world.
“You hear these stories about the mountaintops covered and the blossoms in the spring, and it just makes you want to see that again,” said Nathan Klaus of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, who had never before viewed a full-grown American chestnut.
Brunais is communications director for Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. Nease is manager of the Catawba Sustainability Center.