LIKEN will be co-convening a series of events about the Appalachian Mother Forest at the upcoming virtual meetings of the Appalachian Studies Association. More information can be found here: http://appalachianstudies.org/annualconference/files/2021-call.pdf
The Central Appalachian forest is the world’s oldest and biologically richest temperate zone hardwood system. For thousands of years this forest has sustained human communities and it continues to do so today. Many of these communities have used these rich native forests as “commons,” meaning, shared sites of harvest, recreation, and community renewal. Because of its unique topography and biodiversity, this forest system provided crucial refugia during past climate shifts, leading some ecologists to call it the ‘mother forest’. In our current climate crisis, this forest system can again play a crucial role. The Mother Forest Working Group, a collaborative of the University of Kentucky and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network, invites forest-commons proposals for the 2020 Appalachian Studies Association annual meeting. The meeting’s theme is “Appalachian Understories: Growing Hope and Resilience from Commonwealth to Global Commons,” and forest commoning is a major focus.