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Webinar celebrates Earth Day and NH rare forest

Celebrate Earth Day 2020 with us!

Friends of Moun Sunapee joins the New Hampshire Sierra Club hoping that you are safe and healthy as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic. In our effort to encourage you to take care and follow the necessary precautions, FOMS and N.H. Sierra Club will offer a live online webinar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Join us from your home computer or tablet on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., for “Everlasting Forests: The Mount Sunapee Story.”

The free webinar will highlight the rare, ancient, and complex forest at Mount Sunapee State Park. A discussion will follow the presentation.

After you sign up, you will receive background information that you can review at your convenience. And closer to Earth Day, you will get another email with a link to the live event.

Register today via Sierra Club events.

 

“Nature’s peace will flow into you …”

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ― John Muir

Friends of Mount Sunapee President Steve Russell shares this photo from a local hike at Mount Sunapee State Park, the home to this “gnarly old guy.”

While we share this photo, we urge all to hike locally and responsibly and follow safe practices. There is still snow and ice in the mountains and an accident can endanger you and the first responders and put further strain on our healthcare providers.

Please see the NH State Parks Response to Covid-19 for updates and information.

When the Sunapee Chapter of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests published the “Manual of Mount Sunapee” in 1915, it chose to include the John Muir quote, shown above. The booklet details Mount Sunapee’s geological history, flora, birds, and ferns. You can view the manual via the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

COVID-19: Mount Sunapee closes for one week, hikers turn to the Summit Trail

Update (April 2, 2020) – Vail/Mount Sunapee Resort did not reopen for the remaining 2019-20 winter ski season after closing on March 14. Cannon Mountain closed the following week.

As we all respond to how to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ski area operators across the country have responded, as well. Vail – Mount Sunapee Resort closed Sunday for at least one week. And we saw, on Sunday, outdoor enthusiasts turning to quiet hikes of the Summit Trail.

A FOMS volunteer wrote to us about her Sunday outing, “I did not summit, but got to 2300-feet, ate my apple, and listened to a bird’s very soft sweet song.”

Families and solo hikers were out on the trail.

Ski area respond to COVID-19

Vail Resorts decided last Saturday, March 14, it would close for at least one week all of its North American resorts, including the state-owned ski area at Mount Sunapee. According to the company’s news release, Vail was shutting down 34 resorts starting Sunday through March 22.

The other state-owned ski area, Cannon Mountain, is remaining open “with sharply curtailed services,” according to its COVID-19 response:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY (March 17th)

Under the directive of Governor Sununu, Cannon Mountain is to remain open until further notice, but with sharply curtailed services in order to reduce guest / guest and staff / guest interaction. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work hard to provide you with skiing services while trying to meet both the Governor’s directives and CDC guidelines.

Concord Monitor recently reported on ski operations around the state, some areas are staying open and have COVID-19 advisories posted on their websites.

PBS Brief But Spectacular take on environmental literacy and old growth

Check out this Brief But Spectacular take aired on PBS. Naturalist John Bates speaks about the purpose of his work, to foster “environmental literacy” by “connecting time through old-growth forests.”

And here is related information about John Bates and old growth, including the exemplary and ancient forest on Mount Sunapee.

The under-told story: Mount Sunapee’s rare forest

Many people know Mount Sunapee as a fun place to ski. Few know the story of its rare forest. Yet, audiences at the Claremont MakerSpace and Goshen’s Brook Road Inn recently heard Steve Russell, president of Friends of Mount Sunapee, tell that story about an enduring, exemplary forest in Mount Sunapee State Park.

“Everlasting Forests: The Mount Sunapee Story,” is a FOMS presentation about preservation efforts that began over a century ago. It is also about a critical and vulnerable environment, which has no permanent protective status.

“I didn’t even know there were old-growth trees up there,” offered one member of these diverse audiences, “and I ski there all the time.”

The Friends of Mount Sunapee program “Everlasting Story” describes the ancient and exemplary forest at Mount Sunapee State Park.

In cooperation with the Sullivan County Conservation District for its most recent two presentations, FOMS has been informing citizens in towns that surround Mount Sunapee about this irreplaceable old forest.

Russell stressed the importance of thinking of this area on the mountain, not as separate parcels with ancient trees, but as an entire and interdependent biological entity: an exemplary natural community system (ENCS). Through natural processes, the ENCS supports and protects itself through flora and fauna cooperation.

Russell stated that attempts to develop even small areas of this ENCS would damage and diminish the system. If preserved, this exemplary and old forest can be viewed, studied, and enjoyed into an ongoing future.

More about Mount Sunapee’s rare old forest and the Friends of Mount Sunapee

Ice, water, and watersheds

Chandler Brook, Newbury, NH

Friends of Mount Sunapee recently added a Sunapee Mountain Watersheds page to the website. Check it out! And we welcome submissions of water and watershed related articles and media for publication. For more information, see our contact page.

Water: This, that, and the other

Chandler Brook, Newbury, NH.

Now available from New Hampshire Silver Jackets is the Spring Report of State Hydrology and Watershed Conditions, 2020. The report compiles information on the status of hydrology, watershed, lake, and river conditions in preparation for the spring snowmelt and runoff season in the Granite State. You can view and download the 2020 Hydrology Report via the Department of Environmental Services.

Did you know that the Sullivan County Conservation District has a demonstration stream table? It is available to teachers and organizations to loan for use in the classroom or at an event. And if you’re not sure how to use the stream table, the SCCD website offers helpful links to help you out. For more info, contact SCCD Educator Dawn Dextraze.

Additionally, the Sullivan County Conservation District provides “Water Health” educational programs and projects related to water quality monitoring, nitrogen pollution reduction, and rainwater retention.

And from researcher and environmental sciences and biology teacher Susan Pike, learn about pancake, anchor, and border ice in our lakes, rivers, and streams. Susan shares her love of ice in “Nature News: The Magic of Ice” via the seacoastonline.com.

And a reminder from New Hampshire Fish & Game. Be safe when heading outdoors. See the NH F&G Ice Safety brochure.

Photos courtesy of a FOMS volunteer: Chandler Brook, as viewed from along the Beach Access Road at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury, N.H. (February 23, 2020). 

New NH rule, if made permanent, will put endangered species at risk

A list of threatened and endangered wildlife in New Hampshire is available via Fish and Game.

Environmental organizations in New Hampshire “say a new state rule, which has support from the construction industry and could become permanent, puts endangered species at greater risk from development.” See the reporting of Annie Ropeik for NHPR:

Instead of “no adverse impacts,” the new rule says only that project designs must “not jeopardize the continued existence” of a protected species, or destroy critical habitat.

For groups like the Nature Conservancy, this implied that projects could be allowed to move forward as long as they didn’t cause extinctions – which raised serious concerns.

The Nature Conservancy wrote to DES about the issue in January, along with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club and the state Audubon and Lakes Association – See NHPR, Enviro. Groups Say New State Rule For Developers Puts Endangered Species At Risk (February 18, 2020)

A list of threatened and endangered wildlife in New Hampshire is available via Fish and Game. Or view endangered-threatened-wildlife-nh (pdf).

More boat trailer parking coming to Mount Sunapee State Park

The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation plans to increase the number of boat trailer parking from 12 to 22 spaces at the Mount Sunapee State Park beach.

According to the NH Parks media notice, tree clearing for the project, along the Sunapee Beach Access Road will begin this winter and construction will begin in the spring.

The project worksheet and letter to the Newbury Select Board are posted on the NH Parks website:

And you will find this project on the Newbury Planning Board agenda for February 18, 2020.

Film showing: “The Lost Forests of New England”

A film showing of “The Lost Forests of New England” will be held Thursday, January 30, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, in the Putnam Theater at Keene State College.

Courtesy of the co-sponsors, the Harris Center for Conservation Education, the Monadnock Conservancy, and the Keene State College Film Society, we share the program announcement below.

An old-growth hemlock stand. (photo © Ray Asselin / New England Forests)

This homegrown documentary tells the story of central New England’s old-growth forests through drone and wildlife camera footage, as well as field interviews with Tom Wessels, David Foster, and other renowned ecologists. Learn how our forests have changed over time, and how to recognize remnant old-growth stands today. After the film, Tom Wessels, filmmaker Ray Asselin, and Bob Leverett of the Native Tree Society will be on hand for questions.

Please visit the Harris Center website for more information.  https://harriscenter.org/events/film-showing-the-lost-forests-of-new-england

NOTE: Mount Sunapee State Park contains primeval forest, first documented in the Manual of Mount Sunapee in 1915. Permanent protection of Mount Sunapee’s “exemplary” and old forests is a priority for the Friends of Mount Sunapee. The film “The Lost Forests of New England” further informs and inspires our work.

 

VGJ: Citizens work to protect ancient forest on Mt. Sunapee

View “Citizens Working to Save Ancient Forest on Mt. Sunapee” via the Valley Green Journal website at www.valleygreenjournal.com or click on the image above.

The Valley Green Journala local independent grassroots newsletter, recently published an article about the work that Friends of Mount Sunapee is doing to preserve the ancient forest on the mountain. 

The article is in the Journal’s December 2019 – January 2020 issue. View or download it via the VGJ website at www.valleygreenjournal.com.

The Journal, based in the southern Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, is published by Jan Lambert and Carmen Bywater. Lambert and Bywater are currently assisting FOMS with outreach and in updating a brochure. 

For more information:

 

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