Friends of Mount Sunapee is an alliance of neighbors, town leaders, conservationists, and civic-minded advocates from towns across our mountain region and from across New Hampshire and the country.
Supporters include business owners, skiers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families with current and generational ties to Mount Sunapee State Park. Friends of Mount Sunapee brings a voice to issues and concerns of people who love Mount Sunapee and our state parks.
Our mission advocates for the permanent protection of Mount Sunapee State Park’s old growth forest and exemplary natural community system of which it is a part, thus preserving the unique character and natural beauty of the rural communities in the mountain’s shadow.
Our goal is to maintain our region’s essential qualities of clean air and water, large forest tracts and open lands, wildlife, and their habitats, and the traditional methods of enjoying these resources. We advocate for local land-use measures, regional planning practices, and land protection initiatives that safeguard livable and healthy communities.
Seeking to promote government and corporate leadership and accountability, we encourage public participation and openness in all policy-making processes that determine our region’s future. With education, information, and citizen involvement, we will preserve the unique character of our state park, our mountain, and our region.
History of Preserving Mount Sunapee
In 1909 Herbert Welsh, and Phillip Ayres, led a campaign to: “Save Mount Sunapee for all people to all time!” Welsh working with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests created the Society’s Sunapee Reservation which eventually grew to 1,185 acres and would form the core of Mount Sunapee State Park.
After the passing of Welsh and Ayres the Forest Society ceded its holdings in 1948 to the State of New Hampshire in the formation of our mountain park. The memory of the ancient forest had faded from public memory until in 1997 Chris Kane while working as an intern for the NH Bureau of Forest and Lands rediscovered the old forest originally observed by Forest Society forester Philip Ayres in 1909.
Later documented in a series of reports by the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau the forested system on Mount Sunapee still lacks permanent protection.
Now, it’s our turn to Permanently Preserve Mount Sunapee’s conservation legacy and protect the area’s scenic beauty and unique natural resources and old growth for current and future generations.
Conserving the legacy of Herbert Welsh continues to be a concern as reflected in a 2014 letter written by great grandson, Michael Welsh, to the then operators, Triple Peaks LLC, when the West Bowl Expansion was being proposed.