Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random Thoughts

A hiker takes in the view of the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the summit of Zeacliff during the summer months. This viewpoint offers an excellent view of the wilderness area.
Pemigewasset Wilderness from Zeacliff, New Hampshire
 

The Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random Thoughts – For 2017, I am going to write one blog article a month that is focused on my random thoughts as an environmental photographer living in the New Hampshire White Mountains. I will remain professional when sharing my thoughts but will be a little freer than normal.

Some of you may recognize the above image from Zeacliff Mountain because a similar image is on the cover of the 29th edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide. I look at this image from time to time and think about the solitude I have found in the Pemigewasset Wilderness (45,000 acres) over the years. I also try to imagine how the Pemigewasset Wilderness would look if it was a 45,000-acre condo development.

Hellgate Brook in the Pemi Wilderness of Franconia, New Hampshire.
Hellgate Brook – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Because the Pemigewasset Wilderness is a designated wilderness area, it is managed in a way where man’s impact is light, and the area remains in a natural state. The entire purpose of designated wilderness areas is so we can enjoy nature in an unspoiled state. And yet some are against the spirit of wilderness areas.

Sun rays break through forest along Cedar Brook in the Pemi Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire during the summer months.
Cedar Brook – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

I will never fully understand why some are against the management practices and laws that govern designated wilderness areas. The current laws are protecting New Hampshire’s wild places from human impact. And because of this future generations will be able to enjoy designated wilderness areas. I think the real issue is the Pemigewasset Wilderness might be a little to “wild” for some.

Looking across Hellgate Ravine at West Bond from the summit of Bondcliff in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Hellgate Ravine in 2005 – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Back to the 45,000-acre condo development, I mentioned earlier. I know it sounds funny, and most are saying that will never happen. But our public lands appear to be in a state of turmoil. And anything can happen at this point. The first step, which is already happening, will be attempting to change the laws that protect designated wilderness areas. And once that happens it will only be matter of time before those awful stone staircases take over the Pemigewasset Wilderness trail system.

I hope you enjoyed this random thought. You can license any of the above images for usage in publications by clicking on the image. And you can read more of my random thoughts here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes mainly in the environment of New Hampshire. His work is published worldwide, and publication credits include the Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Backpacker Magazine, and The Wilderness Society. His blog articles are intended to create awareness for the environment and to promote his image archive.

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4 Responses to “Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random Thoughts”

  1. Rick Jewell

    My Dear Friend Erin:

    I am pleased to see you writing your ‘once/month Blog on some of your random thoughts regarding environmental issues. Since I have now aged and supposedly, through a variety of experiences, have become wiser, I find that most of my thoughts come out randomly and at unpredictable moments.

    During my years as an Environmental Analyst with the U. S. Forest Service, due to the nature of the laws and procedures we had to follow, “thoughts” were very structured and deliberate ‘environmental findings” which I and my Teams of Resource Specialists would spent countless hours researching and then formulating defensible environmental findings. These findings provided documentation for our prospered project’s environmental analyzes and our decision rational which were routinely challenged/ appealed by what I would call extreme factions, having a very different vision  of what the Public lands should be or provide..ie condos vs. wilderness, motorized vs. non-motorized, commodity extraction vs. wildlife habitat preservation., etc.

    You stated, “I will never fully understand why some are against the management practices and laws that govern designated wilderness areas. The current laws are protecting New Hampshire’s wild places from human impact. …. I know it sounds funny, and most are saying that will never happen. But our public lands appear to be in a state of turmoil. And anything can happen at this point. The first step, which is already happening, will be attempting to change the laws that protect designated wilderness areas. “

    Erin you are absolutely right to be worrying about the changes that may come regarding laws protecting our public lands. The new administration now has all the horses and I believe we will see a full scale onslaught and movement to undo over 100 years of conservation Policy. These are the extreme factions I mentioned above and your thought regarding condos in the Pemi is all to real. Time to circle to wagons. Keep on blogging those issues that are dear to us. Thanks Rick Jewell, Retired U. S. F. S

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Thank you for commenting Rick. I always enjoy your thoughtful comments.

      I think our public lands are at great risk. To many people want to leave their “mark” in nature. Change is inevitable, but I say leave our wild places as is.

      Reply
      • Rick Jewell

        Erin, The new power brokers In Washington may soon demand a transformation of our public lands that would likely include privatization and increased commodity extraction.

        I was pondering your random thought that the Pemi may be too wild.. I think you're headed in the direction, we should insist on being able to negotiate with the new regime and come to some sort of middle ground compromise that would save a portion of our wild lands. But I wonder what that middle ground would look like? Perhaps it would involve applying new land use definitions to blocks of public land, something similar to land use zoning.

        If the scenario above is one we feel we could live with and that would limit the amount of alteration to our existing public lands protective designations. However, given our lack of leverage, it is doubtful that we would be aloud to participate in this process since the regime has nothing to gain from our participation……… remember we do not have any horses. Later my friend, Rick Jewell, Certified Public Lands Realtor

        Reply
        • Erin Paul Donovan

          Here in New England, wilderness designated areas are misunderstood. And it is because we have so little designated wilderness areas in New England (when compared to the rest of the United States). I am finding many do not fully understand that designated wilderness areas are managed differently than the rest of the White Mountain National Forest. So maybe new land definitions would help clear up this confusion.

          With that being said, I am not sure there is a middle ground. The ones who want to invade wilderness designated areas and alter the Wilderness Act, for one reason or another, won’t comprise. Its there way or the highway. And the same can be said for people, like myself, who believe the Wilderness Act should not be altered in any way. It is a stalemate.

          Have a great weekend

          Reply

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