Posts Tagged: designated wilderness area



Resolution Shelter, Dry River Wilderness

Resolution Shelter was located off of Davis Path in the federally designated Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness in the New Hampshire White Mountains during a snow storm. The Resolution shelter was closed in 2009 because of safety issues, and it was torn down in December of 2011.
(2007) Resolution Shelter – Davis Path, New Hampshire
 

Resolution Shelter, Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness – The Resolution shelter site is located off of the 14-mile long Davis Path in the federally designated Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Designated by the 1975 Eastern Wilderness Act, then expanded in 1984 by the New Hampshire Wilderness Act, this 29,000-acre wilderness area is governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act. Both have strict guidelines when it comes to man-made structures in designated wilderness areas, and permanent improvements are not allowed within these areas.

Completed in 1845 by Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, Davis Path was the third and longest bridle path built to the summit of Mount Washington. The path was in use until 1853-1854, and then it was neglected and became unusable. In 1910, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s legendary Trail-builder Warren W. Hart (AMC’s councilor of improvements from 1908-1910), with the help of volunteers, re-opened it as a footpath. Two shelters, Camp Resolution and Camp Isolation, were built along Davis Path in 1912.

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A Wilderness Bridge vs. an Alpine Zone Hotel

Mount Washington from the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Mount Washington Cog Railway – General Area of the Skyline Switch
 

A Wilderness Bridge vs. an Alpine Zone Hotel – Talk throughout the White Mountains and New England has been about a proposal made by the Cog Railway to “possibly” build a hotel and restaurant on the side of Mount Washington. The proposal itself has created disbelief among many. And I have to admit that I am still shocked that a group would even consider damaging the fragile alpine environment to expand a business venture.

But the reality is this scenario has been playing out throughout the White Mountains in different ways. There are many examples, but the best one is the proposed removal of the footbridge along the Thoreau Falls Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The Thoreau Falls Trail bridge has become a safety concern, and Forest Service has proposed to remove it. Much like the proposed hotel it has become a heated issue.

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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 final decision was made in September 2018. The bridge will be removed without replacement (Alternative 1). Written in November 2015, during the bridge removal review process, the below article lists reasons as to why I support removing the bridge. This is a win for wilderness conservation.

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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Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge Removal

Thoreau Falls Trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire.
Thoreau Falls Bridge – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Thoreau Falls Trail, Proposed Bridge Removal – The final decision on the Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge project was made in September 2018. The bridge will be removed without replacement (Alternative 1). This is a win for wilderness conservation. Written in June 2015, the below article focuses on the bridge project.

In August of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene caused massive erosion damage to the White Mountains trail system in New Hampshire. Some trails were damaged so badly that they have been permanently closed (Flume Brook Trail in Waterville Valley has been decommissioned). And to this day trail crews are still repairing Irene damaged trails.

Deep in the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness, at North Fork junction, along the Thoreau Falls Trail, a beloved bridge that crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River was damaged during Tropical Storm Irene. The bridge is now listed to be dismantled on the Forest Services Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA). A final decision should haven been made by the end of 2015, but it now appears the decision won’t be made until 2018 (this is updated information).

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February 1959 Plane Crash, Pemi Wilderness

Memorial for Dr. Ralph E. Miller and Dr. Robert E. Quinn in the Thoreau Falls valley of the Pemigewasset Wilderness in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The doctors successfully crash landed their plane on February 21, 1959 in this location along the abandoned railroad bed of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. They survived for four days before dying of exposure.
Abandoned Section of the Thoreau Falls Trail – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

February 1959 Plane Crash, Pemigewasset Wilderness – On Saturday, February 21, 1959 a Piper Comanche airplane took off from the Berlin, New Hampshire Airport, around 3:30 p.m., destined for Lebanon, New Hampshire Airport. The pilot was Dr. Ralph E. Miller and his passenger was Dr. Robert E. Quinn. Both were doctors affiliated with Dartmouth Medical School.

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