Concord Monitor – Letter
Friday, November 21, 2014
Mount Sunapee Resort has proposed a major expansion that would link the current ski area with private land outside the state park on the west flank of the mountain.
Staff from the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau conducted a field study of that part of the proposed expansion area that falls within the boundaries of Mount Sunapee State Park.
Four forest blocks, or polygons, were identified as having potential ecological significance. As a result of the survey, polygon D, a 16-acre area of northern hardwoodspruce-fir forest was found to be mature, possibly old growth forest. NHB scientists cored trees in this area and found some exceeded 200 years of age.
Historical and physical evidence indicate that this area has never been logged. Due to this evidence, the age of the trees, and the rarity of this forest type in New Hampshire, polygon D was found to be an exemplary forest of statewide significance.
Exemplary natural communities such as this are protected under the New Hampshire Native Plant Protection Act of 1987, RSA 217-A. This forest exists within Mount Sunapee State Park on public land. This valuable asset is accessible for scientific research, educational purposes and public enjoyment.
The proposed ski resort expansion would destroy polygon D. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development must take this into account, and deny the ski resort’s proposed expansion plan.