The “high ground” is about five acres in the forest at Seward Park, bordered by the sqebeqsed and Windfall Trails. It occupies the highest elevation area in the forest. The southern quarter of the high ground is dominated by large sword ferns, with few other understory plants.
Now, October 2nd 2020, contiguous die-off has appeared, showing the classic signs of the die-off.
The sword fern die-off can now be found throughout the entire 100 acres of the Magnificent Forest AND it spreads in concentrated, presumably more virulent form northward from the original ground zero. Now, after six years of northward spread, this beautiful area - one of the last, large, old and intact sword fern communities at Seward - appears to have been hit. There is no "social distancing" among these ferns. A rapid (one or two year) demise is likely. It is always possible that this is a transient phenomenon, strictly limited to the small area pictured below - and thus not the first appearance of concentrated die-off. Unlikely but possible. Time will tell.