Posts Tagged: weeks act



1907 Owl’s Head Mountain Fire

Storm (rain) clouds engulf Owls Head Mountain from the summit of Bondlcliff Mountain in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire during the summer months. Hellgate Ravine is in the foreground.
Storm Clouds over Owl's Mountain Head from Bondcliff, New Hampshire
 

Owl's Head Mountain Fire August 17, 1907 – During the late 1800s and early 1900s, logging activities from railroad logging contributed to a number of forest fires in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Sparks from locomotives were responsible for starting fires along the railroads. And the logging slash (unwanted part of the tree left behind after an area is logged) left on the mountainsides fueled the forest fires.

The infamous August 1907 Owl’s Head Mountain fire in the Pemigewasset Wilderness was started by a lightning strike on the eastern side of Owl’s Head Mountain in an area that had been previously logged by J.E. Henry and Sons. The included color photographs show the general area of where the forest fire took place.

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Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness

Franconia Brook Trail during the summer months. This trail follows the railroad bed of the old East Branch & Lincoln Railroad that traveled through this area. The EB&L was a logging railroad in the state of New Hampshire that was owned by James E. Henry.
Franconia Brook Trail (old railroad bed) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness – At 45,000-acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness (the Pemi) is one of six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest. Wilderness areas are governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And they are managed much differently than other parts of the National Forest.

Permanent improvements are not allowed, trail work is minimal, and there are strict guidelines when it comes to man-made structures in designated wilderness areas. Bridges are a convenience in wilderness areas, not mandatory. And bicycles are not allowed in these areas, and trail work can only be done with non-motorized hand tools. Preserving the natural character of a wilderness area is the objective.

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James E. Henry, White Mountains History

Grave site of James E. Henry (1831-1912) at Glenwood Cemetery in Littleton, New Hampshire USA. J.E. Henry was a 19th / 20th century timber baron known for his East Branch & Lincoln Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire USA. Historians suggest he was born in 1831 and died on April 19, 1912.
J.E. Henry Burial Site (1831 – 1912) – Glenwood Cemetery, Littleton
 

James Everell Henry (1831 – April 18, 1912) – James E. Henry died at his home on April 18, 1912. He was a 19th and 20th century timber baron best known for his logging practices and building of the Zealand Valley and East Branch & Lincoln Railroads (1893-1948) in the New Hampshire White Mountains. He forever changed the landscape of the White Mountains with his "cut it all" logging practices. 

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Designated Wilderness Areas, New Hampshire

Designated wilderness areas, the Pemi Wilderness from Zeacliff Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Pemigewasset Wilderness – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Designated Wilderness Areas, New Hampshire – In 2012, an article Wilderness Under Siege by The Wilderness Society was an eye-opening read about how the 112th Congress was introducing bills that could forever change the well being of America's public lands and wilderness. Conservation NH also complied a list of New Hampshire bills in 2012 all thought to be anti-conservation, dubbed "The Dirty Dozen Bills".

Lastly, a Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 was drafted geared towards designated wilderness areas in New Hampshire. The possible removal of another footbridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness was the likely motive behind this useless, nonconforming resolution.

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Weeks Act Celebration 100th Anniversary

A hiker crosses over Franconia Brook on a foot bridge. At the end of this bridge hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Old abutments from Trestle 7 along the old the East Branch & Lincoln Logging Railroad bed are used to support this foot bridge. Located in Lincoln, New Hampshire USA. The East Branch & Lincoln Railroad operated from 1893 - 1948. (Erin Paul Donovan)
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Trestle 7 abutments put to good use
 

March 1, 2011 – Celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act.  
One hundred years ago today, President William Howard Taft signed the Weeks Act into law. 

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Weeks Act Exhibit – Plymouth State University

Beebe River Railroad - Harp Switch Stand along the old Beebe River Railroad in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire USA. This was an logging railroad, which operated from 1917 - 1942.
Beebe River Logging Railroad – Remnants of a Harp Switch Stand
 

April 4, 2010 – Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Silver Center for the Arts at Plymouth State University to view the Weeks Act Exhibit. The exhibit, runs from March 3 – April 11, 2010 and is free to the public. The purpose of the exhibit is to celebrate the centennial of the Weeks Act, which is in 2011. Plus it will help create awareness for what the White Mountains once were and what they are now. The weeks act, signed in 1911 essentially allows the federal government to purchase land and to manage the purchased lands as national forests. 

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