Mt. Sunapee’s exemplary and ancient forests

mage from Natural Heritage Bureau 2015 report shows location of exemplary natural community in Mount Sunapee State Park. Click on map to enlarge.

Image from Natural Heritage Bureau 2015 report shows the location of the Exemplary Natural Community System (ENCS) in Mount Sunapee State Park. Click on the map to enlarge.

New Hampshire’s Division of Forest and Lands, in a 2015 Natural Heritage Bureau (NHB) study, affirmed what hikers and back-country enthusiasts have enjoyed for decades: Mount Sunapee State Park protects some of the most precious and significant forests in the state.

The research, conducted in the autumn of 2014, confirmed the findings of the Bureau’s 2004 evaluation and enlarged the area designated as “exemplary.”

The sections of mature trees found in the exemplary natural community system add significant value to the larger forest mosaic of Mt. Sunapee. This mosaic in turn has a high ecological value because of its connection to the extensive Sunapee Highlands Corridor.” – NH Natural Heritage Bureau

Exemplary natural communities are defined by their rarity, size, ecological condition, and landscape context.

Mount Sunapee State Park - stag headed yellow birch - Photo from NH NHB study (2004) of proposed ski expansion area.

Mount Sunapee State Park – stag headed yellow birch. Photo from NH NHB study (2004) of the proposed ski expansion area.

The forests contain large yellow birch, sugar maple, and red spruce. Based on tree cores taken in 2004 and 2014, the NHB determined that some of the trees exceed 170 years of age.

The NHB report also points to the NH Native Plant Protection Act stating that “actions funded or carried out by state agencies shall not jeopardize the continued existence of any protected plant species or exemplary natural community.”

Read more about Mount Sunapee’s exemplary and ancient forests.

Copyright 2018 Friends of Mount Sunapee