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Pyrites
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Pyrites
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PostSun Apr 25, 2021 8:56 pm 
Iím posting this in history, as in natural history. Itís really personal curiosity seeking others opinion based on observations of others who spend time outdoors.

Shifting baseline, a small, modest plus? Just in normal light duty outdoor activities my Spouse and I have noticed more and more young cascara trees. I remember decades ago when you used to see partial bark harvest. That changed somehow, and the harvest turned more mercenary, taking all the bark from a foot to 7-8í high off the trunk, killing the tree. It seemed almost uncommon for me to see live ones. Of course cascara isnít cedar. In a couple years after bark is cut off it isnít obvious itís cascara, and a few more and itís gone.  Again cascara isnít a big conifer, or even an alder or dogwood. Itís always kind of an unobtrusive, quiet little tree.

Do you remember when there were seasonal cascara buyers, just like chanterelles, sword ferns, salal and so on? I am that old. They all disappeared. Immodium hit the market, is effective. Why pay people to wander around the lowlands of OR and WA to harvest bark of trees getting scarcer. No more cascara bark buyers, no more cascara bark peelers.

Now forty or fifty years later Iíve been noticing cascara more and more, maybe over the last five years or so. Have they come back from over harvest or am I just better at seeing them?

Iíd like to hear what others say. Hiking? It is the type of thing ones notices wandering about the brush.

Best.

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Sculpin
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PostMon Apr 26, 2021 7:02 am 
I'm old enough I guess.  But I grew up elsewhere.

I think your impression is correct, they were overharvested to the point that they became somewhat rare, and now they are just coming back.

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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mosey
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PostMon Apr 26, 2021 8:18 am 
I saw a posting in a facebook harvesting/sale group recently for 200+ lbs of cascara bark and a few other ridiculous quantities of things last year or 2019. I'm sure I screenshotted it, but I doubt I can find that needle in a haystack intentionally. There are certainly people still practicing naturopathy, but yes it is less common now that we have immodium and other affordable and safe supplements. Doesn't mean the harvesters are any more sustainable.

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Apr 26, 2021 8:38 am 
Many unhappy memories of Boy Scout days. giardia.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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gb
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PostMon Apr 26, 2021 11:19 am 
I didn't know that history but where I see Cascara is in the mountains/foothills along the east slope of the Cascades. I've seen it on several hikes.

As to stripping bark, the most interesting thing I ever saw was a Black Bear very close to Glacier Meadows who would bend down, bite the bark, lean back and pull a strip of bark about 7' tall and then lick the cambrium beneath the bark. Of course the Black Bear was smart enough not to pull multiple strips from the same tree......

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Dick B
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PostMon Apr 26, 2021 12:26 pm 
When I was 5 years old we spent a summer living on a stump ranch outside of Sultan. My 2 older brothers (10 and 7) and I got into cascara harvesting that summer. I don't think we made much of an impact on the reducing the species. I'm not sure how much money was generated and I can't remember getting any if there was.
In the early '60s I worked on the Elliot State Forest out of Coos Bay. We were still giving out permits to harvest cascara bark at that time. I believe there was some stipulation on how it was to be removed so as to not destroy the tree. There was probably a low priority on checking for compliance. I remember it having a very distinctive and pleasant odor.
As a kid living most of my life on South Whidbey, I would go out with my dad to "pick brush" which was gathering evergreen huckleberry branches. Apparently there was a big demand for it in floral displays.

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Frango
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PostTue Apr 27, 2021 10:05 pm 
Back in the way long ago, as a young RN on a surgical floor, the standard post operative orders after any type of abdominal surgery were for milk of magnesia/cascara at bedtime until the patient finally pooped. We used to get creative with those suckers, MoM is thick and white, Cascara thick and black, so weíd have competitions to see who could create the most beautiful poop inducer shooter. Good times! Now they just prescribe Miralax - not nearly so fun.

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Sculpin
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PostWed Apr 28, 2021 7:08 am 
Frango wrote:
Now they just prescribe Miralax

Right.  Because now we know that the pharmaceutical only has the ingredient that reduces constipation, and not the dazzling array of toxins found in Cascara bark!

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Gregory
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PostSat May 01, 2021 7:37 am 
Used to help my uncle strip bark. Never got paid but I loved hanging out with my uncle who lived in West port. Remember helping him can tuna in cans too. Most of all I remember getting to go out and hang with him commercial fishing and crabbing. He taught me how to pick mushrooms also. I had forgotten about hauling bark for him. He definitely lived tho old life style. I cried hard when he left us. I was taller then him at twelve years old but remember watching him put a giant man on the ground who was giving his wife trouble at the shop she worked at. memories thanks

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