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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: September 12, 2006
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that the Rhode Island Chapter of the Society of American Foresters will hold its 14th annual "Walk in the Forest" on Tuesday, October 3. Due to the popularity of the event, and as part of the state's year-long forestry centennial celebration, DEM foresters will hold a second and similar walk on Saturday, October 7. "Walk in the Forest" is a free public event designed to teach people about the many benefits of healthy forests, and about how foresters care for them.

Catherine Sparks, Acting Chief of DEM's Division of Forest Environment, says, "As this is the 100th anniversary of state forestry in Rhode Island, walking tours on both dates will highlight one of the gems of the Rhode Island park system - the Browning Mill Pond recreation area in DEM's Arcadia Management Area on Arcadia Road in Hope Valley."

The Arcadia Wildlife Management Area is nestled in the rustic towns of West Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton and Richmond, and covers a total land area of 13,817 acres. The area's forest cover is its dominating feature, with 64 percent deciduous forest and 36 percent evergreen cover, principally white pine. Freshwater wetlands, including swamps, marshes, Breakheart Pond, Beach Pond and Browning Mill Pond, cover 1,678 acres. The wildlife inhabiting the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area includes cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hare, wild turkey, bobwhite, ring-necked pheasant, and scores of several game animals, fish and non-game species.

The tours on Tuesday, October 3 will be held between 9 a.m. and noon. Rhode Island foresters will lead small groups on walking tours through the forest, with each tour taking about an hour. The one-hour tour on Saturday, October 7 will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be led by DEM forestry staff. Immediately after Saturday's tour, DEM foresters will demonstrate chainsaw use and safety. Equipment used to suppress wildland fires will also be on display Saturday morning. Participants on both days are invited to bring bag lunches and enjoy the area. The meeting area on both occasions will be at the Browning Mill Pond parking lot.

Teachers/group leaders who will be attending the October 3 "Walk in the Forest," with classes of greater than ten students, must contact Paul Dolan at DEM's Division of Forest Environment at 568-2013 for reservations by September 29. Individuals are free to show up without reservation on the morning of both walks. For further information, contact Dolan at the above number.


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