(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.
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.”
Open Stone Culvert – Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire
Sustainable Trail Work, White Mountains – Here in New Hampshire, all we hear about is environmental friendly and sustainable trail work. And how important it is to conserve the trails for future generations. As an environmental photographer, I support this approach to preserving the trail system. And up until a few years ago, I have always believed that the organizations maintaining our trails practiced what they preached.
I recently made my monthly hike to Mt Tecumseh to photograph the summit vandalism. I was on the Tecumseh Trail after a rainstorm and was surprised at how many open culverts (water bars) were dry. The purpose of a trail culvert is to drain water off and away from the trail, and the culverts included in this blog article were all dry.
May 2011 Controlled Forest Burn – White Mountains, NH
Controlled Forest Burn, White Mountains – The above photo is of a controlled burn that was done by Forest Service in May of 2011 along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I was able to document the burn site at three different stages of regrowth and was surprised at how quick the forest recouped.
Even though the forest looks ugly after a fire, controlled burns (also known as prescribed burning) are routinely used in forestry management to help in the renewing of forests. I am not an expert on controlled burns so if you are interested, you can learn more about them here.