MetroFocus: April 3, 2020

PANDEMIC PANIC: THE STOCK MARKET REACTION TO COVID-19

UNCERTAINTY IS BIGGEST FACTOR DRIVING VOLATILITY IN GLOBAL MARKETS, SAYS FINANCIAL HISTORIAN GOETZMANN

GOETZMANN: THERE ARE ECHOES OF 1929 STOCK MARKET CRASH BUT REASONS FOR SWINGS DIFFER; THINKS ECONOMY WILL GET BACK ON TRACK

SAYS WE’RE LEARNING HOW TO DEAL WITH SUDDEN HEALTH SHOCKS BUT FUNDAMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGES MAY BE NEEDED

The spread of COVID-19 has shaken financial markets and led to layoffs across the country. Nearly 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past two weeks. Stocks have suffered major losses unrivaled since 2008 and the Dow has seen its worst decline since 1987 — the year of the Black Monday stock market crash. Tonight, we put your financial fears into historical perspective while examining the prospects for recovery with financial historian and Yale School of Management professor William Goetzmann.

WIDE OPEN SPACE DOESN’T MEAN OPEN FOR BUSINESS. PARKS CLOSE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CROWDS

Fresh air and exercise is good for the brain, body and the mind, but what happens when everybody decides to go outside at once?

Shortly after Governor Cuomo announced his executive order to put ‘New York on Pause’ requiring all non-essential workers to stay home and for everyone to maintain 6 feed of distance in public, many many people decided the best way to process this drastic change in our communal lives was to take a hike on the
Mohonk Preserve in Ulster County, NY.

Although the preserve is 8,000 acres of cliffs, forests, fields, ponds and streams, visitors were still filling up the parking lots and crowding the hiking trails and carriage roads. So, Elizabeth Long, director of conservation science at the Mohonk Preserve says unfortunately the crowds forced them to temporarily close the preserve. However, Long says there are still numerous ways to enjoy nature from home thanks to the power of the internet.

Aired on April 3, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> UP NEXT, 'METROFOCUS,' WE'RE WORKING FROM HOME, BUT WE'RE DEDICATED TO BRINGING YOU THE IMPORTANT STORIES ABOUT HOW OUR AREA IS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

OUR NEW REALITY IS A TERM WE HEARD FREQUENTLY NOW TO ATTEMPT TO DESCRIBE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, IN ADDITION TO THE SHOCKING LOSS OF LIFE AND THE RISING RATE OF INFECTION AND ANOTHER INDICATOR OF THAT NEW REALITY AND THE CONSEQUENCES HAS BEEN THE TURMOIL EXPERIENCED BY THE WORLD FINANCIAL MARKETS.

SO, WHAT CAN HISTORY TEACH US ABOUT THE CAUSES OF THIS TURMOIL AND AS IMPORTANT ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR RECOVERY.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THESE ISSUES WE'RE PLEASED BEJOINED BY PROFESSOR WILLIAM GOETZMANN, PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR FINANCE AT THE YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT WHO HAS DONE EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND WRITING, IN ADDITION TO OTHER TOPICS, ON WORLD FINANCIAL HISTORY.

SO, PROFESSOR, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I WANT TO GET INTO SOME OF THESE PRIOR HISTORICAL EVENTS YOU'VE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH AND WRITING ON, TO GIVE US A SENSE OF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.

LET ME SET THE STAGE FOR OUR CONVERSATION BY ASKING YOU ABOUT WHAT THE FACTORS HAVE BEEN THAT HAVE BEEN DRIVING THE VOLATILITY WE'RE SEEING CURRENTLY IN THE WORLD.

THE BIGGEST FACTOR IS UNCER UNCERTAINTY.

UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE PROSPECTS OF THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE UP THE STOCK MARKET MIGHT BE, UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM AND HOW ROBUST IT WILL BE, SO IN THE FACE OF ALL OF THAT, THE MARKET IS JUST GOING TO BE FLUCTUATING FOR A WHILE UNTIL IT CAN SORT ITSELF OUT.

I SEE SOME PEOPLE HAVE ATTACHED THE TERM IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR TO WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN THE MARKET.

IS THAT AN ACCURATE TERM, DO YOU THINK?

I DON'T THINK THE FLUCTUATION NOW IS PARTICULARLY IRRATIONAL BECAUSE I DON'T THINK ANYBODY KNOWS RATIONALLY WHAT THE RIGHT PRICE FOR ALL OF THE STOCKS IN THE STOCK MARKET MIGHT BE RIGHT NOW.

SO I THINK THIS IS RATIONAL UNCERTAINTY THAT HAS JUST GOT TO WAIT UNTIL WE UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE DURATION AND THE EFFECT ON THE ECONOMY OF THE VIRUS.

SO LET ME ASK YOU THEN TO HELP US PUT SOME OF THIS VOLATILITY INTO A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.

BY DOING THAT, WE LOOK BACK AS YOU HAVE DONE SO OFTEN IN YOUR RESEARCH AND WRITING UNTIL WE CAN LEARN FROM OTHER EVENTS.

SO LET ME START OFF, SINCE WE HEAR SO MUCH NOW IN TERMS OF PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE PARALLELS BETWEEN WHAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING NOW AND THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC OF 1918, THE SPANISH FLU, THOUGH HISTORIANS SAID TO US THAT IT IS A MISNOMER, IT DID NOT IN FACT START IN SPAIN, BUT THE TERM HAS CONTINUED TO BE USED FOR 100 YEARS NOW.

LOOKING AT THAT 1918 CRASH, THE WORLD CRASH, EXPLAIN TO US WHAT THE FACTORS WERE THAT DROVE THAT.

WELL, THE FIRST WORLD WAR IS ONE BIG FACTOR.

IT IS KIND OF HARD TO DISENTANGLE THE EFFECT OF THE WAR FROM THE EFFECT OF THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.

THE MARKET SHUT DOWN WHEN THE WAR BEGAN AS A MATTER OF FACT.

IT IS THE LONGEST HIATUS WE EVER HAD, SEVERAL MONTHS WHERE THE STOCK MARKET WAS SHUT AND PART OF THAT HAD TO DO WITH THE UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE FIRST WORLD WAR ON THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM AROUND THE WORLD.

SO THE SPANISH FLU CAME TOWARDS THE END OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR WHEN AMERICANS WERE GOING OVER IN BOATS TO FIGHT ON THE ALLIED SIDE.

AND SO THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON AT THIS TIME, IT WAS REALLY HARD TO FIND SOME KIND OF CLEAR TREND IN THE NEWS THAT WAS DRIVING STOCK MARKET CHANGES.

SO IT IS AN OBVIOUS MODEL BUT IT IS REALLY HARD TO TAKE A BIG LESSON AWAY BECAUSE SO MUCH WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THE SAME TIME.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE RECOVERY AFTER THAT CRASHES.

DID THAT HAPPEN?

DID IT HAPPEN RAPIDLY?

WAS IT GRADUALLY?

WAS IT SURPRISING YOU AS YOU LOOK BACK AT IT, HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE IT?

IN THE UNITED STATES THERE WAS DEFINITELY A RECOVERY, 1919, AND THEN STOCK MARKET I THINK WENT UP.

BUT THEN THAT WAS FOLLOWED A YEAR LATER WITH THE BEGINNING OF THE PRETTY SEVERE RECESSION AND IT WAS A GLOBAL RECESSION AS WELL.

SO IT WAS A VERY VOLATILE TIME PERIOD, JUST LIKE IT IS NOW.

A PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT THE -- HOW THE ECONOMY WOULD ADJUST TO THE POST WAR EXPERIENCE, AND THEN HOW THE -- WHAT OUR RELATIONSHIP WOULD BE LIKE WITH THE REST OF THE -- THE REST OF THE WORLD AFTER THAT.

ANOTHER PERIOD OF TURMOIL IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH WOULD BE THE OCTOBER 1929 CRASH.

HOW ABOUT THAT?

HOW ABOUT THE FACTORS LEADING UP TO THAT?

WELL, THAT ONE DEFINITELY HAS ECHOES OF OUR CURRENT VOLATILITY BECAUSE SUDDENLY THE MARKET STARTED TO FLUCTUATE LIKE CRAZY, YOU HAVE SWINGS OF 7% IN A DAY, 12% IN A DAY, LIKE WHAT WE HAD PAST FEW WEEKS.

BUT THE REASONS FOR THE SWINGS THEN ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE VOLATILITY WE HAVE NOW.

THE -- NOBODY REALLY KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT CAUSED THE CRASH IN 1929.

BUT SOME OF IT IS PROBABLY DUE TO FINANCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE, IF YOU WILL, AND SPECULATION, AND THE USE OF STOCK LOANS TO FINANCE THAT SPECULATION.

BUT WE DO KNOW THEN THAT THE FEW YEARS LEADING UP TO IT WERE A PERIOD ALSO OF SPECULATION IN LAND, IN FLORIDA, AND BUILDING A SKYSCRAPER AND SPECULATION IN PROPERTY IN MAJOR CITIES, THE UNITED STATES.

AS WELL AS A PERIOD OF INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION WHICH RAISES POSSIBILITIES BUT ALSO UNCERTAINTIES AS TO WHAT THE RIGHT PRICES ARE FOR ACCESS.

HOW ABOUT THE RECOVERY FOLLOWING THAT GREAT CRASH OF 1929?

WELL, WE HAD TO WAIT A WHILE FOR SERIOUS RECOVERY.

FOLLOWING THE CRASH, WE WENT INTO THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

AND THERE HAS BEEN MANY DECADE LONG DEBATE ABOUT HOW MUCH THE CRASH MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEPRESSION OR VICE VERSA.

AND SO I DON'T THINK WE REALLY QUITE KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF A SHARP DECLINE IN THE STOCK MARKET LIKE WE JUST HAD.

WE'RE STARTING TO FIND SOME EVIDENCE ABOUT HOW THIS CAN CREATE SOME DISJUNCTION IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS WHEN YOU HAVE GREAT SWINGS IN ASSET VALUES, YOU ALSO HAVE LARGE LOSSES IN GAINS BY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND INVESTORS.

HOW DISRUPTIVE THAT WILL BE TO THE REAL ECONOMY IS A QUESTION THAT IS ON EVERYBODY'S MINDS RIGHT NOW.

AND HOW ABOUT THE TURMOIL THAT WE EXPERIENCE IN 1987, HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THAT AND WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT DROVE THAT?

THAT WAS A BREATHTAKING DROP IN ASSET PRICES THAT CAME IN THE FALL OF 1987.

IT WAS -- IT WAS A ONE DAY DROP THAT WAS BIGGER THAN THE CRASH IN 1929.

AND IT SEEMED TO COME AT A TIME WHEN THE ECONOMY WAS SAILING ALONG FAIRLY WELL.

AND WHEN THAT CRASH HAPPENED, I THINK THERE WAS A FEAR THAT MAYBE THIS WOULD KICK OFF A RECESSION LIKE IT DID IN 1929 AND IN FACT IT DIDN'T DO THAT AT ALL.

1987 WAS ACTUALLY A FAIRLY STABLE YEAR FOR THE STOCK MARKET IF YOU JUST SLEPT THROUGH A FEW MONTHS, IT WOULDN'T HAVE SEEMED UNUSUAL TO YOU.

WHAT HAVE YOU -- LET'S COME BACK TO 1987 FOR A SECOND, BUTTON THAT UP IF YOU WOULD, HOW ABOUT THE RECOVERY?

YOU SAY IT WAS DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER ONES THAT YOU HAD DESCRIBED AND I THINK THE -- AS YOU SAID YOU MIGHT HAVE SLEPT THROUGH IT IF YOU DIDN'T NOTICE IT.

DID IT REQUIRE THE SAME TYPE OF EFFORT TO GENERATE A RECOVERY THAN SOME OF THE OTHER EVENTS HAVE SHOWN US?

WELL, I DON'T RECALL MUCH IN THE WAY OF STIMULUS BY THE GOVERNMENT IN 1987.

I THINK IT WAS VERY MUCH A FINANCIAL CRASH AS OPPOSED TO A BIG ECONOMIC SHOCK LIKE THE ONE WE HAD NOW.

AND SO IT -- IT REQUIRED MUCH LESS IN TERMS OF DEALING WITH HOUSEHOLD FINANCE AND ADDRESSING THE FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES.

THERE WAS REALLY A QUESTION IN EVERYBODY'S MIND, WHAT CAUGHT THE SUDDEN DECLINE AND SOME OF IT ALSO PROBABLY HAD TO DO WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPUTER TRADING IN THE CAPITAL MARKETS.

AND THE ABILITY TO SUDDENLY SELL MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF STOCK AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON.

SO THAT'S -- THAT'S ONE OF THE HYPOTHESES ABOUT WHAT CAUSED THAT CRASH, AND THE SOLUTION TO THAT IS MORE LIKELY TO BE CONTROLLED THE WAY THAT SECURITIES ARE TRADED AS OPPOSED TO FROM THE BASIC MACRO ECONOMIC STIMULUS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NOW.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, LOOKING BACK OVER THESE EVENTS IN THE PAST, WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND THAT HAVE BEEN THE -- THE INFLUENCES ON THE PROBABILITY OF A RECOVERY.

WHAT KIND OF FACTORS HAVE ENTERED INTO THE PROBABILITY OF RECOVERY.

MY FOCUS IS TYPICALLY ON THE FINANCIAL MARKETS THEMSELVES.

AND WHAT WE KNOW THEY'RE NOT DIVORCED FROM THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMIES THAT THEY OPERATE IN.

THE FINANCIAL MARKETS ARE MADE OF PUTTING CAPITAL TO WORK IN THE REAL ECONOMY, AND THEN ALSO OF EXCHANGING THAT CAPITAL IN MARKE MARKETPLACES.

SO, YOU KNOW, THE RECOVERY AND ASSET PRICES IS SOMETHING THAT TYPICALLY HAPPENS BEFORE THE RECOVERY IN THE ECONOMY ITSELF.

THOSE MARKETS ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE SPECULATE ABOUT THE FUTURE AND WHETHER OR NOT DIVIDENDS ARE GOING TO BE PAID, WHETHER OR NOT A COMPANY MIGHT GO BANKRUPT IN THE FUTURE AND SO FORM.

SO THEY'RE THE CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE WHEN IT COMES TO BIG FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES.

LET ME ASK YOU LAST QUESTION HERE, AND IT IS A LOOKING FORWARD QUESTION, BUT WE ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD BASED UPON WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST, HISTORY IS OUR GREATEST TEACHER, AS YOU KNOW.

LOOKING AT THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY PRIOR TO THE PANDEMIC, AND LOOKING AT THE VOLATILITY THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT AND PUTTING SOME OF THIS INTO HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE FOR US, WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR RECOVERY, ASSUMING AT SOME POINT AND HOPEFULLY SOONER RATHER THAN LATER WE'RE ABLE TO GET THIS PANDEMIC UNDER CONTROL.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PROSPECTS OF RECOVERY FOR THE WORLD FINANCIAL MARKETS LOOKS LIKE.

I THINK THE PROSPECTS FOR THE FINANCIAL MARKETS ARE VERY GOOD.

THE -- AS LONG AS WE CAN KEEP THE BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE MARKETS AND THE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMICS FROM -- FROM HITTING A WALL, BUT THIS -- WE'RE IN A PERIOD WHERE WE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE EXISTING STRUCTURES FOR THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM, SO THEY'LL BE THERE WHEN WE NEED THEM WHEN THE ECONOMY ITSELF BEGINS TO RECOVER.

I THINK THE ECONOMY ITSELF, THE WORLD ECONOMY, I THINK, WAS IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE.

ALTHOUGH ONE COULD ALWAYS COMPLAIN ABOUT ONE THING OR THE OTHER, IN TRADE WAR AND WHAT HAVE YOU, OVER THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES, THE ECONOMIES AROUND THE GLOBE HAVE BEEN IMPROVE ING AND THEY HAVE BEEN DOING THEIR JOBS FOR INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND I THINK THAT WE'LL GET THAT ON THAT TRACK AND WE WILL CERTAINLY HAVE LEARNED A LESSON ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH SUDDEN HEALTH SHOCKS LIKE WE'RE DEALING WITH NOW.

THAT MAY REQUIRE A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN SOME OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.

WELL, PROFESSOR WILLIAM GOETZMANN FROM THE YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, THANK YOU.

THIS HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL I THINK CERTAINLY FOR OUR VIEWERS TO GET THIS HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE AS WE SAY WE CAN NEVER KNOW HOW WE MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT KNOWING FIRST WHAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST.

SO THIS HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL.

I HOPE WE CAN GET A CHANCE TO CHAT WITH YOU AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD AS WE'RE CONTINUING TO LOOK AT ALL OF THIS.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

> HI, I'M JENNA FLANAGAN OF 'METROFOCUS.'

FRESH AIR AND EXERCISE ARE KNOWN TO NOT ONLY BE GOOD FOR THE BODY, BUT ALSO FOR THE MIND AND THE BRAIN AS WELL.

SO IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT IN TIMES OF STRESS, PEOPLE WOULD SEEK OUT INVIGORATING OUTDOOR ACTIVITY.

FOLLOWING GOVERNOR CUOMO'S EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PUT NEW YORK ON PAUSE, REQUIRING ALL NONESSENTIAL WORKERS TO STAY HOME AND INDIVIDUALS TO MAINTAIN A SIX-FOOT DISTANCE, MANY, MANY PEOPLE HEADED UP TO THE HIKING TRAILS OF THE MOHONK PRESERVE IN NEW YORK.

UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS TOO MANY PEOPLE AND THE TRAILS WERE QUICKLY CLOSED.

SO SWJOINING US NOW TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHY IT HAPPENED AND WHY CLOSING THE TRAILS DOES NOT HAVE TO MEAN BEING CLOSED TO NATURE IS ELIZABETH LONG, DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION SCIENCE AT THE MOHONK PRESERVE.

ELIZABETH, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

JUST, SORT OF TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ONLY SEEING THE CLOSING OF MOHONK, BUT OTHER PARKS AS WELL.

WHY IN SUCH -- YOU GUYS HAVE ACRES AND ACRES AND ACRES OF LAND.

WHY IN SUCH A WIDE OPEN SPACE WHERE THERE IS LOTS OF ROOM TO DISTANCE DO THE TRAILS HAVE TO BE CLOSED?

YEAH, IT WAS A REALLY DIFFICULT DECISION AND WE WANTED TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR FOLKS TO GET OUTSIDE AND GET OUT INTO NATURE AT SUCH A STRESSFUL TIME.

WE DID TRY TO STAY OPEN AND WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT FOLKS WERE SO EAGER TO COME OUT AND REALLY, REALLY FEELING THE NEED TO GET OUT INTO NATURE, IT WAS MAKING THINGS JUST TOO CROWDED, NOT ONLY IN OUR PARKING LOTS, BUT ALSO ON THE TRAILS, THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS, TREMENDOUS INFLUX OF VISITORS ON TO THE TRAILS.

AND WE FOUND OUR STAFF COULDN'T MANAGE IT SAFELY.

WE DIDN'T FEEL LIKE WE COULD PROTECT OUR VISITOR, PROTECT OUR STAFF AND ALSO KEEP THE LAND SAFE.

THAT'S THE BIG PART OF IT IS MAKING SURE THAT THE LAND ISN'T GETTING LOVED TO DEATH.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

SO THEN WHEN -- UNFORTUNATELY THE DECISION WAS MADE, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?

AGAIN, FOR PEOPLE WHO AT LEAST LIVE AROUND THE MOHONK PRESERVE, IT IS A PART OF LIFE IN THIS PARTICULAR PART OF THE HUDSON VALLEY AND ALSO TO TURN AWAY VISITORS WHO WERE REALLY JUST TRYING TO GET OUT OF WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN CRAMPED SPACES THEY WERE COMING FROM.

ABSOLUTELY.

AND FOR ME I ABSOLUTELY RELATE TO THAT.

I'M A ROCK CLIMBER, A RUNNER, CYCLIST.

I USE OUR TRAILS ALL THE TIME.

AND I FEEL FIRSTHAND HOW HARD THIS IS.

AND WE'RE MAKING A LOT OF SACRIFICES.

STAY AT HOME, SACRIFICES REQUIRING BIG ADJUSTMENTS FOR ALL OF US.

UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE SEEING THE SAME SORTS OF DECISIONS HAPPEN IN PLACES ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.

WE'RE SEEING OTHER PARKS INCLUDING SOME OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER HEAVILY VISITED AREAS HAVING TO COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION.

I SEE EVERY DAY NEW PLACES THAT HAVE JUST HAD TO MAKE THE SAME CLOSURE ADJUSTMENTS.

SO WE'RE HOPING THAT PEOPLE CAN STILL GET OUT INTO NATURE IN OTHER WAYS, JUST BE A LITTLE MORE CREATIVE, THE SAME WAY ALL OF US ARE MANAGING WITH THIS NEW CREATIVITY AND THESE NEW RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE.

WELL, SPEAKING OF BEING MORE CREATIVE AND USING SOME OF THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES THAT WE HAVE, MOHONK IS STILL RUNNING A LOT OF YOUR PROGRAMS ARE ONLINE AND THAT THERE ARE WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO STILL ENGAGE WITH NATURE, BUT FROM, AGAIN, A SOCIALLY DISTANT PLACE AT HOME.

YES.

WE KNOW OUR FIRST PREFERENCE FOR SO MANY FOLKS IS TO GET OUTSIDE.

BUT WE'RE LUCKY WE HAVE OTHER TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE.

SO OUR EDUCATION STAFF HAS DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB OF PUTTING RESOURCES ONLINE, YOU CAN FIND THIS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND WEBSITE, UNDER NATURE NUGGETS.

SO EVERY DAY THEY HAVE A NEW ACTIVITY THAT FAMILIES CAN DO, YOU CAN DO IT AT HOME.

SOMETIMES DON'T NEED TO GO OUTSIDE, YOU CAN LOOK OUT A WINDOW OR USE THINGS YOU GOT IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT.

AND OUR RESEARCH, MY TEAM OF CONCENTRATION SCIENCE FOLKS ARE STILL MANAGING TO GET OUT AND DO SOME OF OUR HIGH PRIORITY PROJECTS, WE HAVE REALLY LONG-TERM DATA PROJECTS, SOME OF WHICH GO BACK 125 YEARS THAT WE WANT TO TRY TO CONTINUE UNINTERRUPTED IF WE CAN.

BUT THERE IS A LOT OF WAYS THAT FOLKS CAN STILL ENGAGE WITH NATURE, THERE IS SOME GREAT WEB-BASED RESEARCH LIKE NATURALIST WHICH YOU CAN JUST LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOW, TAKE A PHOTO OF SOMETHING YOU SEE IN NATURE, POST IT ON TO INATURALIST, GET HELP WITH V IDENTIFICATION OF THE SPECIES.

YOU CAN HELP OUR RESEARCH PROJECT, YOU CAN GO TO A SITE LIKE NOTES FROM NATURE AND TRANSCRIBE LABELS FROM MUSEUM SPECIMENS, WHICH IS A LOT OF FUN AND AN INTERESTING WAY TO VOLUNTEER JUST SITTING AT YOUR COMPUTER AT HOME.

I'M SPEAKING WITH ELIZABETH LONG, DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION SCIENCE AT THE MOHONK PRESERVE.

AND IN ADDITION TO WHAT YOU WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF IDENTIFYING DIFFERENT SPECIES AND PLANTS, SOMETHING ELSE I KNOW HAS BECOME A GREAT PASSION FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY PEOPLE IN NEW YORK CITY, IS BIRDING.

AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT CAN STILL BE ENGAGED WITH VIA SOME OF THESE PROGRAMS YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

ABSOLUTELY.

THE BIRDING COMMUNITY WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO REALLY EMBRACE THIS COMMUNITY SCIENCE INITIATIVE AND THERE IS A FANTASTIC PLATFORM CALLED EBIRD, OUT OF THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY.

THE IDEAL WAY TO PARTICIPATE IS TO HAVE AN EBIRD ACCOUNT, LOOK AT BIRDS AND POST ON THEIR WEBSITE.

YOU CAN ALSO EXPLORE THE DATA THERE ON THE EBIRD.

YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THE DIFFERENT SPECIES THAT OTHER FOLKS ARE SEEING.

AND THEY HAVE ANOTHER REALLY FUN TOOL, FROM THE CORNELL LAB CALLED THE MIGRATION FORECAST.

SO YOU CAN GO TO THE CORNELL WEBSITE, AND YOU CAN FIND WHAT BIRD MIGRATION IS DOING IN YOUR AREA OR IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.

SO WHEN THE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT OR WHEN THE SEASON IS JUST RIGHT FOR THE BIRDS TO REALLY MOVE IN LARGE NUMBERS, IT CAN HELP YOU KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT OR WHAT MIGHT BE SHOWING UP AT YOUR FEEDER OR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AT ANY GIVEN TIME.

IT IS A LOT OF FUN TO LOOK AT.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT TO ASK IS SOME -- SINCE THERE AREN'T REALLY PEOPLE WHO ARE VISITORS AT THE PRESERVE RIGHT NOW, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT DOES MAINTAINING THE TRAILS ENTAIL?

WHAT IS IT THAT THESE STAFF WOULD BE DOING NOW ABSENCE OF VISITORS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING REMAINS AS, YOU KNOW, HIGH STANDARD AS THE QUALITY THAT YOU GUYS EXPECT.

THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION AND I THINK SOMETIMES FOLKS DON'T UNDERSTAND ACTUALLY WHAT DOES GO ON BEHIND THE SCENES TO KEEP TRAILS SAFE AND KEEP THEM ACCESSIBLE FOR THE PUBLIC DURING IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

SO WE DO HAVE A SKELETON CREW OF FOLKS OUT OVER LAND WHO ARE DOING THINGS LIKE CLEARING CULVERTS.

WE HAVE SNOW MELTING OFF AND LOTS OF RAIN HAPPENING NOW.

WE CAN GET A LOT OF RUN JF ON T ON OUR TRAILS AND KEEPING THE CULVERTS CLEARED OUT HELPS KEEP THE ROADS IN BETTER SHAPE AND THE ROADS ACCESSIBLE WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO COME BACK OUT.

CLEARING TREES, WE HAVE WINDFALL, WE HAVE A LOT OF TREES THAT ARE SUCCUMBING TO INVASIVE PESTS LIKE ASH TREES ARE LOSING OUT TO THE EMERALD ASH BORER.

SO WE'RE SEEING A LOT OF FALL.

SO CLEARING THE TREES FROM THE TRAILS.

AND WE HAVE ROUTINE MAINTENANCE THAT WOULD HAPPEN REGARDLESS, LIKE MOWING OUR FIELDS, WHICH MAY NOT SOUND CRITICAL FOR VISITORS BUT IT IS CRITICAL FOR WILDLIFE, IT HELPS TO PROVIDE HABITAT FOR WILDLIFE, THESE ARE THINGS THAT HAVE TO GO ON ALL YEAR LONG.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE TO KEEP MAINTAINING AS BEST WE CAN.

WE HAVE CUT BACK TO JUST THE ESSENTIAL SKELETON CREW.

BUT WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP EVERYTHING GOING SMOOTHLY SO THAT WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE FOLKS COME BACK OUT, EVERYTHING WILL BE GREAT, NATURE WILL BE HEALTHY AND EVERYTHING WILL BE SAFE FOR FOLKS TO COME OUT AND ENJOY.

I'M SO GLAD YOU MENTIONED THE WILDLIFE PART OF THIS.

NOW HOPEFULLY THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE CLOSING OF THE TRAILS WILL ONLY BE A TEMPORARY THING FOR US AND WE CAN GIVE BACK OUT INTO NATURE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

BUT I'M WONDERING IF THERE IS ALSO ANY PLANS TO BE TRACKING HOW THE WILE LIFE SORT OF RECLAIMS THE LAND SANS HUMAN INTERVENTION.

IT IS AN INTERESTING QUESTION AND IT IS REWARDING TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW AND SEE NATURE GOING ON AS USUAL.

I STEPPED OUT INTO MY YARD YESTERDAY AND HEARD EASTERN SEA BEES THAT CAME IN FOR THEIR MIGR MIGRATION.

THE WORLD STILL GOES ON.

THE BIRDS DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WE SEQUESTERED OURSELVES.

THERE ARE SPECIES THAT MAY BENEFIT FROM HAVING A REDUCED HUMAN PRESENCE AROUND.

ONE NOTABLE EXAMPLE IS PEREGRINE FALCONS WHICH NEST ON THE CLIFFS.

WE HAVE THREE DIFFERENT PAIRS AT THE PRESERVE.

AND NORMALLY WE HAVE TO BE REALLY PROACTIVE ABOUT TRYING TO MAKE SURE THE CLIMBING COMMUNITY AND THE NESTING PEREGRINES ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER.

BUT NOW THAT THERE IS NOT CLIMBING HAPPENING, THE BIRDS HAVE THE PLACE TO THEMSELVES AND IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE IF THAT HAS ANY INFLUENCE ON THEIR SUCCESS.

AND LIKEWISE THINGS LIKE MAI DP MIGRATING SALAMANDER OZ OR FROGS THAT COME OUT THIS TIME OF YEAR TO BREED ARE NOT HAVING TO CONTEND WITH AS MUCH TRAFFIC, NOT ONLY ON THE ROADS, BUT ALSO FOOT TRAFFIC OR PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY INTERESTED TO MAYBE A GET A LOOK AT THEM AND DON'T KNOW IT WOULD BE BETTER TO GIVE THEM A LITTLE BIT OF SPACE.

OF COURSE.

NOW, FOR, AGAIN, SO MANY PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA, REALLY ARE PROBABLY GOING TO BE ITCHING TO GET BACK OUT INTO NATURE.

BUT AS WE SLOWLY BEGIN TO COME BACK OUT AGAIN, IS IT IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT JUST US WHO WILL BE OUT IN THE EARLY MONTHS OF SPRING AND OF COURSE SUMMER AND THE HUDSON VALLEY WE DO HAVE AN ISSUE WITH TICKS.

AND, YEAH, NOT TO FORGET THE TICK SEASON IS STILL HAPPENING.

AND IS THAT SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO KEEP IN MIND WHEN THEY EVENTUALLY DO GET TO GET BACK OUT INTO NATURE?

ALWAYS.

TICKS ARE ALWAYS ON THE FRONT OF OUR MINDS.

WE'RE ALREADY SEEING TICKS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

IT DOESN'T TAKE THAT MUCH HEAT TO GET THEM TO WAKE UP AND START BEING ACTIVE AGAIN.

SO OUR STAFF ARE ALREADY TAKING OUR TICK PRECAUTIONS AND CHECKING OURSELVES REGULARLY WHEN WE DO HAVE TO GET OUT ON THE LAND AND WE PERFORM OUR MAINTENANCE AND ROUTINE TASKS.

SO IT IS GOING TO BE REALLY HARD TO RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO JUST GO RUN AMOK, BUT I SUSPECT BY THE TIME FOLKS ARE READY TO GET BACK OUT ON THE LAND THERE WILL BE POISON IVY AT PLAY AND ALL THOSE THINGS ARE STILL THERE.

THEY HAVEN'T SLOWED DOWN AT ALL.

AND WE GOT TO STILL TAKE THE SAME PRECAUTIONS AS WE WOULD ANYWAY.

ALL RIGHT.

I'VE BEEN SPEAKING WITH ELIZABETH LONG, DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION SCIENCE AT THE MOHONK PRESERVE IN NEW YORK.

I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN ME, TO NOT ONLY EXPLAIN WHY CLOSING OUR BELOVED HIKING TRAILS WAS NECESSARY, BUT ALSO THAT THERE ARE OTHER OUTLETS FOR PEOPLE TO STILL ENJOY NATURE, EVEN IF YOU FEEL SO FAR REMOVED AWAY FROM IT RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I KNOW WE ALL LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING BACK OUTSIDE AND ENJOYING OUR NATURE, BUT I HOPE WE CAN DO WHAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE OURSELVES HAPPY INSIDE AS MUCH AS WE CAN.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME, ELIZABETH.

THANK YOU.

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