If you are like me you are predisposed to the assumption that things were better “back then.” In the case of the forests of Missouri, it depends on which “back then” you mean. The forests of Missouri are indeed quite different today than what one would have encountered in 1850, 1870, 1910, or 1930. These four years are very approximate dividing lines regarding the history of Missouri forests. Stepping across these lines one way or the other would have taken the observer into forests, or at times almost no forests, that were radically different.
|Shortleaf Pines near Rocky Creek in|
the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Theses trees once dominated the Ozark
Plateau landscape. Oak and hickory now
have taken over their dominant role after
the excessive logging between
1870 and the 1920's.