Posts Categorized: Human Impact on Nature



The Greed of Man, Random Thoughts

The greed of man. Scenic view of the Presidential Range snow covered from along the Presidential Range Rail Trail at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, New Hampshire.
Presidential Range – Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, New Hampshire
 

The Greed of Man, Random Thoughts – As the new year progresses, I find myself re-evaluating my values as both an environmental photographer and outdoor enthusiast. The sacred places I love and cherish in the New Hampshire White Mountains are all falling victim to the greedy hand of man.

The trail system is being vandalized in different ways, the fragile alpine zone is being trampled, and designated wilderness areas are under constant attack by the new anti-conservationist movement. And with social media being what it is, many want social recognition, so they leave their mark everywhere in the White Mountains.

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Cog Railway Hotel Proposal, My Viewpoint

Mount Washington from Mount Clay in Thompson and Meserve's Purchase, New Hampshire.
Mount Washington Cog Railway – General Area of the Skyline Switch
 

Cog Railway Hotel Proposal, My Viewpoint – As you look at the above image can you imagine a 35 room hotel along the Cog Railway in the area you see? I know, it seems far-fetched. But the reality is the Mount Washington Cog Railway is in the early stages of “possibly” building a lodge and restaurant in the area of the Skyline switch along the railway. I am not joking, a hotel in the fragile alpine zone environment.

Public information suggests the proposed hotel will be along the railroad about a mile below the summit, near the Skyline switch. I believe the Skyline switch is in the above section of the railroad (behind the rock cairn). The included images help visualize the general area of the proposed hotel building site on Mount Washington.

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Mount Tecumseh Cutting, My Viewpoint

Stumps of trees illegally cut in 2013 are cut flush with the ground on the summit of Mount Tecumseh in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.
July 2014, Fresh Cutting – Mt Tecumseh, New Hampshire
 

Mount Tecumseh Cutting, My Viewpoint – When I first went public with the environmental issues on Mount Tecumseh, I was warned that my business would become the focal point of a smear campaign if I continued to cover Mount Tecumseh. After five years of covering issues on this mountain, I can say that the harassment I have received has not deterred me from creating awareness for the human impact on Mount Tecumseh.

According to Forest Service, the cutting on New Hampshire's Mount Tecumseh is illegal, and is considered vandalism to National Forest land. As far as I know, Forest Service's law enforcement division is still actively investigating the cutting. For my involvement, as a photographer, I have been unofficially volunteering my time to document the cutting. I am against this type of vandalism, and report any findings to Forest Service.

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Mt Tecumseh Trail, My Viewpoint

July 2016 - Newly built stone steps along the Mt Tecumseh Trail in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire during the month of July. Minimal stonework should be done along trails, and it should look natural and blend in with the surroundings.
New Staircase – Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire
 

Mt Tecumseh Trail, My Viewpoint For the last five years, I have been documenting issues on Mt Tecumseh in New Hampshire. In my opinion, what has happened to the Mt Tecumseh Trail over the last few years is a disgusting display of conservation and trail stewardship. The new stonework built along this trail is all about quantity, not quality, and I question what low impact, sustainable trail work is.

In August 2016, for the second time since 2012, the Pemigewasset District of Forest Service, at the request of the Washington Office, inspected the ongoing stonework along the Mt Tecumseh Trail. According to a letter I received from Forest Service Supervisor, Tom Wagner, the stonework is “satisfactory” for Forest Service Trail construction standards. And they did find issues that would be taken care of in the future. The definition of satisfactory is “fulfilling expectations or needs; acceptable, though not outstanding or perfect.”

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Mt Willard Section House Vandalism

Crawford Notch State Park - Location of the Mt. Willard Section House, which was at the end of the Willey Brook Trestle along the old Maine Central Railroad in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. This section house was built by the Maine Central Railroad in 1887 to house the section foreman and crew who maintained the track. From 1903-1942 the Hattie Evans family lived at the house, it was destroyed by fire in 1972.
Mt. Willard Section House Site – Maine Central Railroad, Crawford Notch
 

Mt Willard Section House Vandalism – In April the Conway Scenic Railroad, on their Facebook page, posted that the Evan’s family monument at the Mt Willard Section House site had been recently vandalized. I visited the section house site last month and was disappointed to see the vandalism. The monument looks to be permanently damaged.

The Mt. Willard Section House site is located along the old Maine Central Railroad in New Hampshire, next to the historic Willey Brook Trestle, in Crawford Notch. Since 1995 the Conway Scenic Railroad, which provides passenger excursion trains, has been using the track.

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Human Impact, White Mountains

Impact photo of glass bottles thrown in the forest of Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham, New Hampshire.
Green Glass Bottles – New Hampshire
 

Human Impact, White Mountains – I usually write a few blog articles a year that are focused on the impact we have on the environment, and today is a good day for one. I have always felt that in order to get people to care more for the environment photographers have to show the impact that is happening in the world.

Every day beautiful landscape photos of the New Hampshire White Mountains are posted on all the social networking websites, and this creates a false belief that the White Mountains are in a state of pristine condition. In life, and as an environmental photographer, I'm a realist, and I don’t believe in this fantasy world approach to conservation. Today, I am going to share with you a few unflattering images of the White Mountains.

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