Posts Categorized: My Viewpoint



Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains

Definition of Wilderness, Owls Head from the Franconia Ridge Trail (Appalachian Trail), near Little Haystack Mountain, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the last days of summer.
Owls Head – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains – I am currently working on a project that has brought me back into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. This wilderness is governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And because it is designated wilderness, it has the highest level of protection for federal lands. The recreational opportunities, historical value, and educational platform the Pemigewasset Wilderness offers will educate outdoor enthusiasts for many years to come. It is important that visitors to the region know that the six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest are managed differently than the rest of the National Forest. This is where the Wilderness Act comes into play.

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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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Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint

Side view of footbridge along the Thoreau Falls Trail, at North Fork Junction, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire. This bridge is supported by two large white pines and crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River.
Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge (before Irene) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint Like many in the New England outdoor community, I have been closely following the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge removal project. I have had interesting conversations as to why the bridge should be replaced, but nothing yet has changed my position, I support removing the bridge from the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I wrote about the issue of this bridge being located in a designated wilderness area back in June, and you can read that blog article here.

It has been brought to my attention that Forest Service is still accepting comments, so I want to pass that along to anyone interested in commenting. Supporters and non-supporters of the bridge removal, if you did not send in comments during the comment period, you still can send them, but do it soon. Today, I am going to share my reasoning as to why I believe the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge should not be replaced. Maybe my comments will influence you to write a letter in support of the bridge removal to Forest Service.

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Designated Wilderness Areas, My Viewpoint

Designated wilderness areas, the Pemi Wilderness from Zeacliff Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Pemigewasset Wilderness – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Designated Wilderness Areas, My Viewpoint – In 2012, an article Wilderness Under Siege by The Wilderness Society was an eye-opening read about how the 112th Congress was introducing bills that could forever change the well being of America's public lands and wilderness. Conservation NH also complied a list of New Hampshire bills in 2012 all thought to be anti-conservation, dubbed "The Dirty Dozen Bills".

Lastly, a Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 was drafted geared towards designated wilderness areas in New Hampshire. The possible removal of another footbridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness was the likely motive behind this useless, nonconforming resolution.

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