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Interview :05 - 50:22 Play :05 - More
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Jeff Fee  

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Lewis and Clark  

Sound Effects 9:49 - 10:16 Play 9:49 - More
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Twig cracking  

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Lewis and Clark  

Swainson's Thrush -- Catharus ustulatus 26:32 - 27:50 Play 26:32 - More
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Lewis and Clark  

Swainson's Thrush -- Catharus ustulatus 27:17 - 27:50 Play 27:17 - More
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Lewis and Clark  

Sound Effects 28:10 - 29:20 Play 28:10 - More
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Walking, Twigs crunching  

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Lewis and Clark  

Yellow-rumped Warbler -- Setophaga coronata 31:12 - 33:12 Play 31:12 - More
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Lewis and Clark  

Song Sparrow -- Melospiza melodia 31:48 - 31:53 Play 31:48 - More
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Lewis and Clark  

Environmental Recording 33:52 - 35:41 Play 33:52 - More
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Stream ambi, Gurgling  

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Lewis and Clark  

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Walking in leaves  

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Lewis and Clark  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
24 Jul 2001 at 20:39

    Geography
  • United States
    Idaho
    Idaho County
    Locality
  • Clearwater National Forest; Packer Meadows
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 46.63722   -114.55667
    Elevation
  • 1590 meters
    Habitats
  • Coniferous Forest
  • Stream
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Spaced Omnis; Decoded MS stereo

NPR/NGS
RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Lolo Trail
DAT#2
Engineer: McQuay
Date: July 24, 2001

0:40 It's the 24th of July, Packer Meadow, it's 8:39pm. It's an MS configuration and we're going to wait here ...

1:20 - 5:55 ambi -walking away from the stream, 1 :35 -faint gurgling of stream 2:20, steps coming back in closer. Nice rustling until 3:05. Then hear stream again. 3:45 -hear car (boat?) in distance. At 4:39, just stream again. 5:30, hear steady chirping of bird.

6:22 Jeff: Somebody else comes along five years later. .. they'll chop that out. .. This really happened many many years ago ...Because I can take my whole hand ...that is really an old scar.

6:55 How do you know that tree is that old? .. .It's not that big.

7:00 Jeff: What happens with lodgepole pine is once they get so old then their growth really slows down ...This is so small you almost have to see a magnifying glass, in some case, a microscope, to count the rings. Some of those trees will only get ...a little more than a foot in diameter ...(How old are they?) They can be a 150,200 years old tree .. .In a complacent. .. they just don't get the nutrition or the water, but they still put on these little tiny annual rings ... (7:58)

8:20 While we're here I may as well show you that one that's up there 13 feet...

8:30 -11:00 ambi -great walking noises, esp. after raspy voice at 9:02 says, quietly -"deer! deer!"
(9:40 & 50 -10:10-great twig breaking)(9:45 -muttering/or a sec)

11 :00 Jeff: this tree is still alive, as you can tell ...(Alex: geez, that's high)

12:16 McQuay: We're now in spaced omni (?) -we'll do this split track. ..

12:44 A: So...this tree is a lodgepole pine ...and how old is it?

12:50 Jeff: Oooh, 150 feet tall .. .let's say a hundred, at least. .. Early travelers and especially native groups for hundreds of years...stripped the bark from the trees in order to get to the sugars ...and its' a real. .. beautiful shiny white membrane that's close to the cambium of the tree that it let off the year before and became a part of the wood ...These layers of cambium and that's what the tree's made of ... So what people did when there was no food for their horses ...or themselves ... and they did travel over this country ...they would travel at times in the spring when the snow was high but hard enough to support the weight of a horse ...and the only food they could get to would be these trees ...Or the fall when they were coming back here ...again, no feed ...they'd still strip the bark from the tree to feed themselves and especially their horses (15:00)

15:01 Jeff: In this particular case, we're looking at a scar. They peeled a piece of this tree that we can see right here, what, eight feet high and they stripped it clear down and two feet
wide, and yet that cambium pill went straight down the side of the tree b/c what's happened is over the years the scar tissue has built up and covered a great deal of what was once exposed. Sometimes that scar tissue covers so much of it you can only see a little tiny hole left. .. This tree here and just looking at the width of the blade of whatever they used to cut the bark could easily be a trade hatch or a tomahawk. .. or even a small ax ... This is real typical of what we find -these small tomahawk type cuts into the tree where the severed the bark and then they were able to strip it down ...They stripped down from about the middle ... chest height, and then they pulled up way above our heads ... We have hundreds and actually thousands of these trees ...(16:55) So, this tree was actually stripped at multiple strips ... at different times ...Probably about to my third knuckle ... 3 Y2 inches, that's the growth of the scar tissue

17:23 On this side over here (ambi -great walking) we're looking at more...scar tissue of about two and a half inches so obviously the deeper the scar tissue the older the cambium ... was peeled... This was probably done 40 or 50 years after this was done. And then, on this side of this tree -(18:00)

18:00 -19:27 ambi -pretty quiet

19:30 -20:00 ambi -some sort of engine going by

20:00 -20:20 ambi

20:24 Jeff: So these scars here are obviously pretty close to the base and weren't done when the snow was really deep. (good twigs) so it could have actually been done just when there was no feed for horses ...But this side (again, good walking twig ambi) -this cambium scar goes up this here ... 13,14 feet -look at the cut marks way up there ... also small like a hatchet ...that individual ... did that when there was, what, 12 feet of snow on the ground ... And they've stripped that bark -they were really hard-up, they needed foot bad ... Not necessarily in here on horseback. .. could have needed it themselves.

21:50 Alex: You don't know though what year that happened -you couldn't tell that.

21:54 Jeff: Oh yeah, we could, all we gotta do is take a core of that ... By taking an instrument and coring into the tree ... you can count the rings.

22:15 A: So you could tell whether or not that happened before Louis & Clark.

22:20 Jeff: Yeah, or even after. We can, for most of these live trees ...we can tell within 10 to 15 years of when that bark was stripped. And sometimes we can tell -

23:00 Alex asks Louis & Clark question again

23:05 Jeff: We could -and we could do it by dendrochronology or running a core ... running an instrument into that tree and taking a core about the size of a straw and then counting the rings. And we can count the rings right through the cambium scar and find out how many years ago -how much growth on that tree -since that scar was made.

Alex How old do you think that tree is?

23:28 Jeff: I can -you know, it doesn't look all that big but I can guarantee you, Alex, it's an old tree. We're probably look at 2,300 hears old. It's about had it -it's probably not going to live a whole lot longer. .. but it's still alive .. .It would be hard to core ... because it's got a lot of rot in the center of it...Whoever did it was standing on about 12 foot of snow ... and hardly ever do you ever find that they strip the bark that high. (24:36)

24:36 A: But, you know, if they did that. .. how long ago could that have been ...and that tree must have been that big when they did it. ..

24:52 Jeff: Look at the cambium scar -it was that size. Envision ..the scar that you see, not the bark, and then envision that and that's how big the tree was (Alex -but it was probably a good sized tree) ...it was a good sized tree. And see these two branches ...that individual
probably on tops of the snow stood on those branches to strip that down to those branches. (25 :29)

25:30 A: When did the Indians moving through here -when did the Indians stop moving through here and stop doing that kind of thing?

25:38 ... We've been finding dates as far back as the 1690s, and as .. .late as the 1920s. (Alex¬ the 1920s/ People would still do that for food?) Oh yeah (Alex: And they were still crossing back through here?) They were still crossing back -not like they used to, but obviously they had to b/c..the real early fur trappers learned from the tribes around here that that's how you survive in this country. (26: 13) But you can -not many people after the 1800s even had a clue of what that meant. ..

26:35 -27:50 ambi -great bird chirping steadily

28:10 -29:20 ambi -walking, twigs cracking

30:15 -33: 15 ambi -faint water gurgling -stream, :38, bird starts chirping intermittently

33:53 -35:40 ambi -more water, this time a lot louder, no birds

36:00 -36: 12 ambi -people walking in leaves, twigs

36:38 -37:00 ambi -pretty quiet

37:10 -39:35 ambi -(McQuay crouching) some birds in distance, (38:16, birds start intermittent chirping) but really not much

39:48 -43:00 ambi -(McQuay standing up) -same birds chirping, basically not more than perhaps
some pine needles rustling and these distance birds. 40:58 -start to hear faint flowing of water / gurgle of stream

43:10 ambi -McQuay walking to & from, but hear off-mic voices until 43:30. From 43:30 to 43:50, good walking sounds, but not as much twig crackling, sounds like walking in a field.

44:20 ambi -quieter walking, then approaching

44:40 Alex: Packer Meadows, south of the Lolo Pass at the Idaho-Montana border. We'll begin here, September 13, 1805. About this place, Meriwether Lewis wrote, "There's a pretty little plane of about 50 acres and from appearances, this frames one of the principle stages or encampments of Indians who pass the mountain on this road." (45:08) (second -47:47)

45:16 Alex: It's still a pretty little plane of about 50 acres, longer than it is wide, mountains encircling the green meadow. Right in what looks like the center of this place, there's a bare mount of rock like a cap and you climb up on it and you know this is where they came. And here does feel like the magnetic center of the universe (45:45) (48:15 second time)

McQuay & Alex discuss doing that again.

47:10 -48: 15 Alex does the above again, starting "Packer Meadows ... " -[I think the second time is better}

50:22 END

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