Green Glass Bottles – New Hampshire
Human Impact, White Mountains – From a photographer’s point of view, I believe showing the ongoing human impact in the New Hampshire White Mountains creates awareness for what we are doing to our public lands. Overcrowding, vandalism, and litter is a huge problem.
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. Out of the eleven scenes in this blog article, seven of them are linked to hiking.
October 2011 – New Trail Blaze, Mt Tecumseh Trail
Trail Work, Poor Trail Blaze Removal Practices – Since 2011, I have been making regular trips to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire to photograph a yellow birch tree that has fallen victim to vandalism. The damaged tree, when ascending the trail, is on the right just after exiting the Irene reroute. I am using repeat photography to show the impact of improper trail blaze removal. This type of photography is useful for educating land stewards and others about responsible environmental stewardship.
In October 2011, I documented newly applied trail blazing (above) along the Mt Tecumseh Trail in Waterville Valley. Sometime in the spring of 2012, the blaze on the left side of the yellow birch tree in the above image was improperly removed from the tree. And a large wound (below) where rot, fungus, and insects could enter the tree was visible. The bark, where the blaze was, appeared to have been cut and peeled away from the tree.
October 2011 – New Stonework, Mt Tecumseh Trail
Trail Work Erosion, White Mountains – The included images show how a section of the Mt Tecumseh Trail in the New Hampshire White Mountains has elapsed over time. The first two images are from October 2011 and the last image is from October 2017. The intent of this visual journal is to record the progression of hillside erosion on the left-hand side of the trail and to document how this section of trail holds up to foot traffic.
I am using a technique known as photo monitoring to document this section of trail. Photo monitoring consists of repeat photography of an area over a period of time. Photo monitoring is used in land management to help recognize issues that are not immediately obvious from one or two visits to a location. The ending result is a permanent visual record and journal that showcases the environmental changes of a particular location.
Sawyer River Trail – White Mountains, NH
Leave No Trace, Camping Ethics – The Leave No Trace program is a very effective program that uses simple principles and common sense to promote back-country camping ethics. Creating awareness for camping ethics is an important part of the program. Feel free to share this blog post with your friends.
September 2011 – Improper Trail Blazing, Mt Tecumseh Trail
Repaired Trail Blazing, Trail Maintenance – Some of the issues along the Mt Tecumseh Trail in Waterville Valley New Hampshire have been addressed and corrected by Forest Service. I commend Forest Service for correcting issues along this trail. And it is satisfying to know they are taking the needed steps to improve the White Mountains trail system.
In 2011, while hiking the Mt Tecumseh Trail, I noted a trail blazing issue, so I reported it to Forest Service. The trail blazing was not per trail maintenance guidelines and ruined the overall beauty of the trail. The Ranger who looked into it and responded, via email, stated a bad can of paint was the cause. Included in this blog article are before & after photos of the trail blazing that was removed.
October 2011 – New completed stonework / hillside stands out
Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire – Today I hiked the Mt Tecumseh Trail in Waterville Valley to photograph a section of fairly new stonework. In October of 2011 I was asked to photograph this work, and at the time I questioned the quality of work, so I have continued to photograph it. The included photos show that the hillside is collapsing, and the steps are not holding up. This section will need to be maintained indefinitely or properly fixed.
Mount Flume Summit – Healthy Trees Cut For Tent Platform or Shelter
Backcountry Camping Impact, White Mountains – A growing issue in the New Hampshire White Mountains is man made impact caused from camping. Some areas are being littered with trash and showing surface erosion from heavy usage. And campers are cutting young healthy trees (above) down to build tent platforms. And in other locations campers abandon their gear leaving the forest a mess.
Kancamagus Scenic Byway – Forest Road 511 Campsite (2011)
Campsite Trash, Kancamagus Scenic Byway – Admittedly the heat has taken its toll on me this week and I didn’t feel like doing anything today. My plans for the day were to walk up Forest Road 511 along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire to finish photographing a hardwood forest I found a few months ago. There is a nice mix of hardwoods in this area.
As I started walking up the Forest Road, I changed my plans and decided to pick up a mess left at a campsite along the Forest Road. The trash has been there a least a few months (maybe more), definitely abandoned. Most of it has been blowing around the area.