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Almost every tree was marked for cutting. The property was acquired by Cotton-Hanlon Inc., a company that manages forested lands for timber harvest, with the intent to log it. Saving this old-growth forest involved years of negotiations between Cotton-Hanlon and the Cornell Botanic Gardens Natural Areas Committee. Acquired in 1997, the Fischer Old-growth Forest is named to honor Richard B. Fischer (1919-2005), professor of environmental education, for his delight in natural history and his tenacity and can-do attitude toward environmental protection, which he shared with his many students.

This natural area was also recognized for its significance by the Old-growth Forest Network, and was registered as the network’s 16th Eastern Old-growth Forest in September, 2013.

David Bandler ’55, a Cornell alumnus and emeritus professor of Food Science, and his wife Lenore expanded this natural area by donating the 17-acre Bandler Family Tract in 2015 and the 42-acre Bandler Family Forest in 2017.