Posts Tagged: human impact



Picking Up Trash, White Mountains

Picking up trash, artifacts (horseshoes) at an old logging camp along the abandoned Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad in Livermore, New Hampshire
Protected Artifacts – Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad (1909-1914)
 

Picking Up Trash, White Mountains – During this covid pandemic, many hikers have been picking up trash along the trail system here in the White Mountains. And there also has been an increase in hiker organized clean-up days, which is awesome. The easiest way for hikers to “give back” is to pick up trash along the trails.

However, it’s not widely known that the trail system is a portal to the White Mountains' fascinating past. Many trails utilize old railroad beds, pass through abandoned farm settlements and logging camps, and are links to important historical sites. And because of this, historical artifacts are scattered along many of the trails.

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2020 Year in Review, White Mountains

The Pemigewasset River near the Flume Visitor Center in Franconia Notch State Park in Lincoln, New Hampshire covered in snow on a cloudy autumn day.
Pemigewasset River – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

2020 Year in Review, White Mountains – As the year comes to an end, I am still trying to understand this pandemic. And I am also still trying to grasp how badly overrun the White Mountains have been this year. While there appears to be a vaccine for the virus, there is no immediate solution for the current human impact issue here in the White Mountains.

If you live in the White Mountains region, did you ever think the outdoor community would be fighting about the definition of “local” and vehicles at trailheads being vandalized just because they have out-of-state license plates? With social media fueling the fire, this year has been an awful display of what the White Mountains outdoor community is all about. For better or worse, social media has changed outdoor recreation.

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2020 Human Impact, White Mountains

2020 human impact, mask hanging from a tree along the Georgiana Falls Path in Lincoln, New Hampshire during the summer of 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic).
COVID-19 Pandemic – White Mountains, New Hampshire (Sept. 2020)
 

2020 Human Impact, White Mountains – During these strange times, like many of you, I have been trying to stay safe and worrying about family and friends. I also have watched the New Hampshire White Mountains get trashed over the last few months. While human impact (overuse) is not a new problem here in the White Mountains, it has gotten much worse during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Being a native of New Hampshire, I hate seeing the White Mountains being treated so poorly. I have never seen such a lack of respect for nature. However, overuse has been a problem throughout the history of the White Mountains. And with the surge in outdoor recreation in the 21st-century, this was bound to happen again. And even in today’s conservation minded-society, there is still no easy solution to the problem.

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Vandalism, White Mountains

Beware of Vandalism sign in New Hampshire.
Beware of Vandalism – New Hampshire
 

Vandalism, White Mountains – I have been reminiscing about all the conversations I have had this year. And a common topic among many outdoor enthusiasts is all the vandalism in the White Mountains. So today’s blog article focuses on the keyword search term “vandalism”. And this imagery is intended to create awareness for a very concerning issue here in the New Hampshire White Mountains. However, keep in mind that some outdoor enthusiasts feel some of the below acts of vandalism are perfectly acceptable.

When creating awareness for the impact we have on the environment, the norm in today’s outdoor world is to use breathtaking landscape photos of a region. But as an environmental / conservation photographer, when creating awareness for the White Mountains environment, I prefer to use photos that show the impact. I believe showing the actual damage leaves a lasting impression on outdoor enthusiasts. And it influences us to practice “Leave No Trace” and be better stewards of the land.

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Greed and Selfishness, White Mountains

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
 

Greed and Selfishness, White Mountains – 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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Mount Tecumseh Vandalism, Illegal Cutting

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 Vandalism, Illegal Cutting – 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 the issues. After 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 Willard Section House Vandalism

mt willard - 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 2016 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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