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.
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).
East Branch of the Pemi River – North Fork Junction
East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, New Hampshire – I have a long list of locations in the White Mountains that I return to over and over to create imagery. And one of my favorites is the area surrounding the 15 mile long East Branch of the Pemigewasset River (East Branch of the Pemi) in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The East Branch of the Pemi begins deep in the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the area of Stillwater Junction.
Tropical Storm Irene Damage – East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, Lincoln
Tropical Storm Irene, White Mountains – From 6PM Saturday, August 27, 2011 through midnight Monday, August 29, 2011 the White Mountain National Forest was closed because of Tropical Storm Irene. This tropical storm caused massive damage along the East Coast of the United States and the White Mountain National Forest was officially closed during the storm. The above photo of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, near the Lincoln Woods Trail, shows how the river looked just days after the storm.
With the large amount of damage Tropical Storm Irene has caused throughout the state of New Hampshire, I thought it would be interesting to show some before and after scenes of a few locations in the White Mountains that have been impacted. Many of the brooks and rivers have been drastically altered.
East Branch of the Pemigewasset River during the storm
August 2011, Tropical Storm Irene – From 6PM Saturday, August 27, 2011 through midnight Monday, August 29, 2011 the White Mountain National Forest was closed because of Tropical Storm Irene. This tropical storm caused massive damage along the East Coast of the United States and the White Mountain National Forest was officially closed during the storm.
Tropical Storm Irene has caused massive destruction throughout New England. Many bridges, buildings and roads have been washed away, and officials are saying roads will be closed for weeks. Many of the rivers in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire have been badly eroded and are clogged with trees.