Forestry in the Sicily Island Hills

Posted: June 23, 2009 in Homepage

As I have mentioned before on my History page,one only has to visit the Sicily Island Hills in person to walk the steep environment to realize how difficult it must have been for anyone to eke out a living there.  Traditional agriculture with row crops would be unfeasable. Perhaps a few families that lived in these striking hills had a home garden. Cattle grazing? Not likely. A ski resort? Ahh, if it only snowed more often, a perfect fit!  

My curiosity was recently abated about how this land was worked, especially with respect to forestry.  An article by Melanie Torbett in the June issue of Forests and People magazine entitled “Sicily Islands’s Hidden Highlands”, takes a glimpse at the forest, the land and some of the people who work or worked there. The link  below provides great insight into forestry in the Sicily Island Hills and is provided with the permission of Ms. Janet Tompkins, editor of Forests and People magazine:

  1. Tom Ryals says:


    Stumbled into your site browsing aimlessly through Word Press’ list of unpublished authors. No particular purpose in mind – just surfing for lit. agents, hoping to motivate myself to write seriously.

    The individual commenting is a Louisiana boy, as well, and I was delighted to discover your reflections on Sicily Island Hills. The best part was learning of your great love for nature and wildlife. This is exceptional, and I know how much pleasure you derive from it.

    My childhood home was Winnfield (Winn Parish,) many school years were passed in Baton Rouge. My mom’s childhood home was Catahoula Parish, and I have spent much time there. Dad, who traveled a lot, spoke frequently of Sicily Island, though I do not recall having been there. It will be no surprise to you that Sicily Island Hills are unfamiliar to me. (I use the plural as it is seems poetic. We can understand I am referring to the hills rather than to the town.) One gets the impression that their remove and the mystery surrounding them greatly add to your attraction.

    My present location is among the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas. This area draws me as Sicily Island Hills attracts you. Like you, I am a devotee to nature and scenic beauty, though less scholarly. You display the intelligent love of an Audubon, I, more that of the sensualist – principally visual.

    Perhaps you know this area. It is truly lovely, and I have been entirely gratified at my choice. No climatic extremes. How long I will stay, I have no idea. Being single and a senior, I am something of a rolling stone. Should it be the case you have not been to this region, you might record these spots to visit, if ever in the area. (From South Northward)

    Mt. Magazine
    Jasper (Little Buffalo River and Arkansas River Valley)
    Ponca (300′ bluffs for hiking and horseback riding.)
    Berryville (Sanders Mountain)
    Eureka Springs (Unbelievaby unique Victorian town. Read it’s history. Also see Thornhill Chapel)
    Beaver Dam Lake (Man-made but vast and beautiful. North Park)
    Tablerock Lake (Also vast, and Mark Twain Natl Pk)
    Rushing River Falls, E. Ok.
    These lakes are blue, being of great depth.
    Caverns everywhere
    Branson, Mo., if you’re into this

    Like you, I like to share things I’ve learned.

    Bob, I’ll let you go. Keep on keeping on, and good luck with your writing.

    Tom Ryals

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