Nature takes its toll on two national sites

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Two significant sites were affected by nature over the past week.

Witness Trees Damaged

One of the “witness trees” to the Battle of Gettysburg was damaged by a severe storm this past Thursday.  A huge honey locust tree which was alive during the time that President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address speech. 

The tree, on Cemetery Hill, is located only 150 feet from where Lincoln gave his speech.

The tree, which stood on the right side of the Union lines, “was there as a silent witness — to the battle, to the aftermath, to the burials, to the dedication of the cemetery,” park historian John Heiser said.

Wall Arch in Arches National Park

Gravity and erosion took their toll on the famous and oft photographed Wall Arch in Arches National Park in Utah.  The arch was formed by entrada sandstone and was the 12th largest arch in the park (where it is estimated that there are over 2,000 arches). 

The arch collasped earlier in the week, making it the first arch to collapse since 1991.