Black Creek Wilderness

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Black Creek Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Black Creek MS.jpg
Wild and Scenic Black Creek
Map showing the location of Black Creek Wilderness
Map showing the location of Black Creek Wilderness
LocationPerry County, Mississippi, USA
Nearest cityWiggins, Mississippi
Coordinates30°58′47″N 089°01′41″W / 30.97972°N 89.02806°W / 30.97972; -89.02806Coordinates: 30°58′47″N 089°01′41″W / 30.97972°N 89.02806°W / 30.97972; -89.02806
Area5,052 acres (20 km2)
Established1984
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service

Black Creek Wilderness is a 5,052-acre (20 km2) wilderness area in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Located within the De Soto National Forest, Mississippi's largest wilderness lies in the broad valley of Black Creek, stained a deep caramel color by the tannic acid of decaying vegetation.[1] The upland areas protect significant areas of longleaf pine forest, while the river creates bottomland hardwoods and shorelines with sand bars. It is therefore an important representation of typical coastal plain ecosystems that existed before forests were cleared[2] and the rivers dammed. The Pascagoula River is nationally significant as one of the largest unimpeded rivers remaining in the lower 48 states.[3] Rare species include the Pearl darter and the Yellow-blotched map turtle, both found only in this river and its tributaries. This wilderness area is surrounded by De Soto National Forest, which is also one of the nation's most important areas of coastal plain ecosystems.[4]

Wild and Scenic River[edit]

Black Creek, a tributary of the Pascagoula River, is Mississippi's only designated National Wild and Scenic River. Designated in 1986, 21 miles (34 km) of the creek are classified as "scenic."[5]

Black Creek bisects Black Creek Wilderness, creating a hardwood floodplain of oxbow lakes and thick stands of sweet gum, sweet bay, red maple, oak, pine, and bald cypress.[1] These represent the sort of forests that form when natural levels of water, including spring flooding and summer drought, control the distribution of species.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Black Creek Wilderness - Wilderness.net
  2. ^ Williams, M. 1989. The lumberman’s assault on the southern forest, 1880–1920. pp. 238–288. In M. Williams. Americans and Their Forests: A Historical Geography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ The Nature Conservancy. "Pascagoula River Watershed Conservation Profile". Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  4. ^ Keddy, P.A. 2009. Thinking big: a conservation vision for the southeastern coastal plain of North America. Southeastern Naturalist 8: 213-226.
  5. ^ Black Creek Wild and Scenic River, Mississippi Archived 2010-06-10 at the Wayback Machine. - National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

External links[edit]