Archive | old-growth forest

FOMS “Everlasting Forests” to be held in Claremont and Goshen

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Did you know that Mount Sunapee State Park is the home to a rare and old forest that’s earned the state’s designation of “exemplary”?

Friends of Mount Sunapee will present “Everlasting Forests: The Mount Sunapee Story” on Wednesday, February 19, in Claremont (at the Claremont MakerSpace, 46 Main Street) and on Wednesday, February 26, in Goshen (at the Brook Road Inn, 1171 Brook Road).

Hosted by the Sullivan County Conservation District, the programs start at 6:30 p.m. and are open to the public free of charge.

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“Everlasting Forests” looks at the forest preservation efforts of the early 1900s and its enduring legacy at Mount Sunapee State Park, an exemplary natural community system (ENCS) that includes old-growth and mature forests. The New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau characterizes this forest as the only ENCS of its type in the State.

FOMS seeks permanent protection of Mount Sunapee’s exemplary and old forest.

Old forests represent valuable and endangered ecosystems and are incredibly scarce. They represent less than one-tenth of one percent of New Hampshire forests. Additionally, we’ve learned that Sunapee’s mature trees are critical to the integrity and viability of Mount Sunapee’s old forest. The mature trees buffer and protect the ancient forest and, with time, will acquire old-growth characteristics if left intact.

The program will include a PowerPoint presentation by FOMS president Steve Russell with a discussion to follow. And “Mount Sunapee State Park’s Rare Old Forest” (a FOMS brochure) will be available at the event. Or view and download it here: FOMS old forest brochure 2020Jan (pdf 5 MB).

The Claremont and Goshen programs follow similar presentations held in Bradford, Newbury, and New London. For more information and how you can help, please contact us.


About the Sullivan County Conservation District

Sullivan County Conservation District (SCCD) offers a variety of environmental resources and opportunities to help support Sullivan County schools, teachers, farmers, growers, and organizations & individuals related to conservation of natural resources and agricultural lands and place-based ecology education.

Our goal is to connect residents to our local lands and help each one develop an understanding of the natural ecosystems are a part of, an appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us and the natural resources that sustain us, and foster a sense of place and stewardship ethic.

Website:  www.sccdnh.org
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Programs & Events Mailing List: https://mailchi.mp/943d17c2a213/sccdnhprograms

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:

 

Eagle Times: Sunapee group seeks protection of old growth

The Friends of Mount Sunapee continues its work on conservation, natural resource protection, education, and advocacy. Our current focus includes outreach regarding the rare ancient forest in Mount Sunapee State Park.

The enduring forest on Mount Sunapee

We invite you to read a recent article via the Eagle Times: “Sunapee group seeks protection for old growth,” Oct. 4, 2019.

Or get the story via FOMS website: Sunapee group seeks protection for old-growth forest | News | eagletimes.com. (pdf 96kb)

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Film tells of lost ancient forests of New England

 

Mount Sunapee State Park contains primeval forest, first documented in the Manual of Mount Sunapee in 1915 and rediscovered in 1997 by conservation ecologist Chris Kane. Permanent protection of Mount Sunapee’s “exemplary” and ancient forests is a priority for the Friends of Mount Sunapee. The film The Lost Forests of New England further informs and inspires our work.

Forest film informs and inspires

What is an ancient or old growth forest? What do they look like? Why are they important?

The Lost Forests of New England – Eastern Old Growth, is a one-hour film published in May 2018 by New England Forests. The film answers questions about ancient forest history and science and more! It tells of the old growth forests of New England: “what they once were, what changes have taken place across central New England since European settlers arrived, and what our remnant old growth stands look like today.”

The film features presentations by David Foster, David Orwig, Neil Pederson (Harvard Forest) Tony D’Amato (University of Vermont) Tom Wessels (Antioch University New England) Peter Dunwiddie (University of Washington) Bob Leverett (Native Tree Society) Joan Maloof (Old Growth Forest Network).

Recommended reading

“…these ancient forests are small fragments of what once was, and as such are vulnerable to loss from ignorance of their value and ecological import… To be protected, their existence must be known to those who would care enough about them to be vigilant (that would be you). But the other side of that coin is that sometimes, attention by too many well-meaning enthusiasts results in a place succumbing to “too much love”. That put us in a tight spot… we wanted to see these remnants protected forever, but not at the cost of losing them to heavy traffic!”

Mount Sunapee’s exemplary forest

Friends of Mount Sunapee, following over a century of preservation efforts on the mountain, advocates for the protection of the state park’s natural heritage for current and future generations. FOMS seeks protection of its large forest ecosystems including ancient forests within the Exemplary Natural Community Systems (ENCS).

Learn about Mount Sunapee’s natural heritage via our website.

Please contact FOMS if you’d like more info or would like to help us in our work.

For FOMS updates, sign up here.

Courtesy photo, Mount Sunapee State Park, 2018.

 

 

How do you describe Mount Sunapee’s rare old forest?

Polygon D 2014OctQ. – The manager of Mount Sunapee Resort has repeatedly stated that there is no old growth in the proposed expansion area. How do you and the Friends of Mount Sunapee respond to that claim?

A. – It is essential to understand that, even among forest ecologists, there is some debate over the definition of the term old growth. Quite frankly, the wording can be a semantic trap. The resort operators are missing the point by focusing on the term.

The focus should be on the facts:

Continue Reading →

Herbert Welsh: Protect Mount Sunapee for All People

Hebert Welsh

Herbert Welsh (1851-1941), the walking crusader and father of land conservation on Mount Sunapee. (Photo from “The New Gentleman of the Road” – copyright 1921.)

Herbert Welsh: “Save Mount Sunapee for all people to all time!”

Herbert Welsh (1851-1941) was a political reformist, an artist, humanitarian, Indian Rights activist, and, in many ways, the father of land conservation on Mount Sunapee.

In the early 1900s, Welsh led the effort to protect land on Mount Sunapee for public use. At the time, from 1906-1909, extensive clear-cut logging was underway on the mountain’s north face.

“It seemed clear to Welsh and many of his [Sunapee] neighbors that the beauty of Mt. Sunapee was being ruined and its primeval forest and rare plants were in danger of disappearing… He was determined to put a stop to the destruction.” – SooNipi Magazine, Summer 2004 – Download/read: Herbert Welsh, SooNipi 2004 (pdf 492KB) – “Herbert Welsh: Walking Crusader” by Shelly Candidus

The unspoiled natural environmental inspired and moved Welsh into action.

It was earlier, in 1909, while summering in Sunapee, Welsh became alarmed about what was happening on Mount Sunapee. Paper companies controlled a greater part of the mountain, and they were clear-cutting and harvesting lumber, leaving a growing bald spot pocked by stumps and slash — destruction that Welsh could observe from his lakeside home. Further cutting that would leave the mountain bare.

Welsh went into action. Welsh’s first effort raised $8,000 and with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests purchased from the paper companies 656 acres of land and timber rights on Mount Sunapee’s northern slopes, including the summit and Lake Solitude.

Welsh spoke about his passion for protecting the mountain’s natural environment in his writings, including the “Redemption of Mount Sunapee,” which he penned while at his Sunapee home.

Welsh aspired “to save Mount Sunapee for all people to all time.”

The 1911 purchase on Mount Sunapee marked the Society’s first reservation. The campaign to protect Mount Sunapee continued with the acquisition of more conservation land, land to be open to all people for outdoor “recreation and health.” From 1922 to 1937, the Society purchased several more parcels on the mountain. In 1948 after acquiring 1,116 acres on Mount Sunapee, the Society transferred their holdings to the state of New Hampshire for a state park.

Welsh served the Society as a Vice-President At Large and as President of the Sunapee Chapter from its formation in 1912 to at least 1934.

If we saved Mount Sunapee we would indeed be doing this, but we would also be doing something higher and nobler than acting for our own protection; we would be helping to affect our part of the great national work of forest conservation. — Herbert Welsh in “Redemption of Mount Sunapee”

Timeline:

From 1909 to 1911 – Herbert Welsh leads a successful educational and fundraising campaign to protect Mount Sunapee after he discovers large paper companies intend to clear the mountain’s steep slopes and peak. He enlists the help of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

1911 – The Forest Society acquires 656 acres on Mount Sunapee, the Society’s first reservation, which is followed by additional purchases.

1915 – The Society’s Sunapee Chapter, under Welsh’s leadership, publishes “The Manual of Mount Sunapee.” It details the mountain’s geological history, flora, birds, and ferns.

The 1930s – The Newport Ski Club cuts alpine trails on Mount Sunapee.

1948 – The Forest Society transfers 1,116 acres on Mount Sunapee to the state of New Hampshire, and in December, the Mount Sunapee Ski Area opens at Mount Sunapee State Park.

 

 

A forest treasure by Christopher Kane

This week conservation ecologist Christopher Kane passionately spoke out about protecting the old-growth forest on Mount Sunapee in a letter published in the Concord Monitor (Dec. 16, 2014). Chris Kane has been studying the older forest areas on Mount Sunapee on and off since 1997.

Old growth forest cannot be created. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I strongly urge any and all decision-makers who have a role in the upcoming decision to grant a ski lease expansion at Mount Sunapee to deny this request for the broader benefit of the citizens of New Hampshire.  Read more…

 

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