Flume Covered Bridge – Flume Gorge, New Hampshire
2021 Year in Review, White Mountains – As the year comes to an end, I don't have much to say. And like many of you, I am looking forward to the start of the new year. What a year it has been! This year I am going to keep it short and just make a handful of comments about my favorite images of 2021.
Over the last few years, all we have heard about is how overrun the White Mountains are now. And I agree it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Our trailheads are overflowing into the streets, mountains summits are overcrowded with peakbaggers looking for the perfect selfie, and campgrounds are beyond capacity. But because of the "off the beaten path" locations I have been documenting over the last two years, I have seen almost no one in the White Mountains. Serenity still can be found in the White Mountains.
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.
New Staircase (2016) – Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire
Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire – For five years (2011-2016), I documented 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.”
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.
Appalachian Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Standing Up For The White Mountains – Every year, I document a number of environmental issues in the White Mountains. And to start the New Year I am going to publicly share the four issues I will be documenting thus year. The rest of my time will be focused on the scenic White Mountains and New England region. This year I decided to just continue creating imagery for the visual journals that I have worked on for the last few years. Below are links to the journals.
Durand Lake – Randolph, New Hampshire
2014 Favorite Images – It is that time of year again when I reflect on a years worth of shooting, and share with you my ten favorite images from the 2014 season. These images are the ones that stood out to me over the year. You can see a larger preview of any image by clicking on it.
Working with photography day in and day out, I tend to forget some of the incredible places I visit during the year. This end of the season post helps remind me of these places, and as to why I became a photographer in the first place. This year I included a few images not from the White Mountains to break it up some. I say it every year, and I am going to say it again today, the landscape of the White Mountains is incredible!
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.
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.