Chris Bolgiano

Presentation: A Sedimental Journey: Tracking Historic Dirt Downstream

Using archival photos and my forest forensics photos of clues to the history of my own beloved woods – and far beyond – I presented a webinar for the Forest History Society (Duke University), “A Sedimental Journey:  Tracking Historic Dirt Downstream.”  This presentation greatly expands the one I gave in 2021 for the Friends of the North Fork.  If you think forest history hasn’t had consequences that continue today, take a look at your local creek after […]

Author’s Chat: Corridors for Wildlife, at Barren Ridge Vineyard

Participated in an “Author’s Chat,” (not recorded) with Paul Bugas, at Barren Ridge Vineyard, cohosted by Stone Soup Books of Waynesboro.  A major topic was the increasing interest in developing habitat corridors to save wildlife – and people.

Reading: Grateful Dead-heading

I read my essay, “Grateful Dead-Heading, A Gardener’s Revelation,” from the book Better With Age, to students in a Lifelong Learning Institute course taught by book editors Bob Bersson and Jack Greer. 

You can read the essay here. 

Presentation: Forests for Life

Presented “Forests for Life” to the American Association of University Women, at Bridgewater Retirement Community (not recorded).  

A Sedimental Journey: How Historic Deforestation Degrades Waterways Today

 I was invited to give this presentation by my watershed group, Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah River.  In “A Sedimental Journey: How Historic Deforestation Degrades Waterways Today,” I use a forensics approach to find clues to history – and its long-term consequences – in our forests and streams today.  The word “Legacy” usually means something good received from the past, or created for the future.  “Legacy sediments” literally muddy this concept and are revolutionizing our understanding of truly […]

Repairing the Past, Defending the Future

I was invited to be on the Global Climate Commons Panel at the 2020 annual meeting of the Appalachian Studies Association in Lexington, KY.  By the time the meeting was cancelled due to covid-19, I’d already prepared this Powerpoint, which James Madison University then kindly taped.

Forests of the Southern Appalachians: Repairing the Past, Defending the Future

The theme for the 2020 annual conference of the Appalachian Studies Association was “Appalachian Understories.” Conference announcements cited, somewhat vaguely, the “Mother Forest.”  This was nice to see because the globally unique Southern Appalachian forests don’t receive much recognition, especially the world-class national forest commons.  Yet these nearly contiguous six million acres of Appalachian national forests, regrowing after historically horrific logging, are the region’s best hope against climate change.  My talk plays with both “Understories” and “Mother Forest” to describe how our forests […]

The Grimm Brothers’ Worst Nightmare: Wolves Thriving in Germany

“The Grimm Brothers’ Worst Nightmare: Wolves Thriving in Germany” was published in Rewilding Earth, March 2020. Inexplicably, this story gained me an invitation to join the Rewilding Leadership Council, which put me way out of my league.

“It was Grandparents Day last August at the kindergarten in Cumlosen, a village in former East Germany. There were outdoor games, face painting, singing, and a small carousel. Then the teachers did a skit: the Big Bad […]

Forest Forensics: Clues in the woods to historic crimes against nature, and the consequences today

“Forest Forensics” was first published in October of 2019 in Blue Ridge Outdoors Online then republished in Rewilding Earth in February 2020.  

“There are no bodies, no police tape, no cluster of curious onlookers. Yet there is plenty of evidence of a historic ecological crime: the deforestation of the eastern United States and consequent massive loss of topsoil. It began slowly at Jamestown and culminated quickly just a century ago in the Appalachian Mountains. Archives document the destruction of virtually […]

Pillars of Carbon: National Forests and the Great Appalachian Carbon Commons

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“Pillars of Carbon: National Forests and the Great Appalachian Carbon Commons” is an essay that appeared in Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Antropocene (pp 175-185), Ed by Jessica Cory. West Virginia University Press, 2019.

“Dashes of red paint on occasional trees were easy to miss, and we did. We crossed the border unwittingly, my young husband […]

Forests Are Our Future

Opening Keynote Speech at Penn State University’s Forest Landowner Conference, March, 2019.   

The invitation to open this large and prestigious 2-day conference was dangerously flattering.  Not only did it give me the opportunity to visit my revered PA friend and writer, Marcia Bonta, and her 640 glorious acres of new old-growth.  It also emboldened me to point out to the audience how much Penn’s Woods have changed from the original vision in 1681.   

Faced with 600 fellow private forestland […]

Seeing the Forest for the Carbon

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“Seeing the Forest for the Carbon” was published in Virginia Wildlife Magazine, March/April 2018. It won a prize in the 2019  Virginia Outdoor Writers Assn. Excellence in Craft Contest. 

“Old growth is critical for biodiversity from amphibians and aquatic organisms, to entire suites of terrestrial species.”

– J.D. Kleopfer

“Like most small woodland owners, according to the National Woodland Owners Survey, I love the scenic beauty and the wildlife of […]