The South Taconic Mountains rise along the NY/MA/CT border and hold one of the least-known and most striking wilderness areas in the northeast US. They contain cliffs, views that reach to the Catskills, ravines, waterfalls fifty feet high, wildlife ranging from bears to beavers, and a rich and involved history. The ambition of this blog is to unearth that history by zeroing in on moments of ecological transformation: the impact of the Rent Wars and the border disputes, iron mining, the rise and decline of sheep farming, the disappearance of the chestnuts, and, in my first essay, the extermination of beavers in the seventeenth century.
I live in Copake, NY, and can see the Taconics from my front porch. I’ve been exploring them for twenty-eight years now, but the more I learn, the further my questions stretch. Anyone who reads my posts is welcome to “pile on” — ask questions, point out mistakes, add any bits of history you may know, tell me I’m plain wrong. I’m not proud! I’d be happy if this blog grows into a collaboration, and hope someday to turn into a comprehensive account of a beautiful and overlooked place where I feel I belong.
To see a good map of the South Taconics, go to http://images.summitpost.org/original/227101.jpg