Human Impact, New Hampshire


These photography projects focus on human impact in the New Hampshire White Mountains. With all the recreational opportunities available in the White Mountains the impact has increased significantly. But the impact goes far beyond trail erosion and highway litter. Over the last decade a new type of outdoor enthusiast, one who feels entitled to leave their mark in nature, has emerged and is creating havoc in the White Mountains. This work focuses on creating awareness for land conservation.

 

Human impact, camping Impact

Backcountry Camping Impact

This photography project focuses on backcountry camping impact in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Some areas are being littered with trash and are showing signs of surface erosion from heavy usage. And in other areas campsites are completely abandoned; campers are leaving all they're camping gear behind in the forest, and this eventually turns into a big mess that someone has to pick up. In other areas of the White Mountain National Forest, campers are cutting young healthy trees down to build tent platforms. This project creates awareness for the poor leave no trace practices some campers are using. Scenes include; campfires left unattended, trash thrown in the woods, and damaged forest. More outdoor education courses will help with this problem. [Read more] | [View photos]

 

Mt. Tecumseh, New Hampshire

Bad Trail Blaze Removal Practices

This project documents a man-made tree wound healing over time. In October 2011, Erin Paul documented newly painted trail blazing along the Mt. Tecumseh Trail in New Hampshire. And in the spring 2012, poor trail stewardship practices were used to remove one of the trail blazes. The bark where the blaze was had been cut and peeled away from the tree, and a large wound where rot, fungus, and insects could enter the tree was visible. Most trail maintenance organizations in the White Mountains don’t use this practice of trail blaze removal because it goes against leave no trace principles. Since 2011, Erin Paul has been routinely photographing the tree wound, and this image series creates awareness for the importance of environmental friendly trail stewardship practices. [Read more] | [View photos] | [Visual presentation]

 

Mount Tecumseh, New Hampshire

Human Impact on Nature

This photography work focuses on the many ways humans impact nature. Every day beautiful landscape photos of the New Hampshire White Mountains are posted on social media, and this creates a false belief that the White Mountain National Forest is in a state of pristine condition that will never change. And this is far from the truth – every day a little more damage is done to the White Mountains environment. In order to conserve the White Mountains for future generations, we have to be realists when it comes to the impact being done to nature. Though unflattering these photos are effective for creating awareness for the impact that we have on nature. Why are they effective? Because they reveal what is happening to the White Mountain National Forest. [Read more] | [View photos]

 

Mount Tecumseh, New Hampshire

Illegal Cutting, Mt. Tecumseh

Since 2011, Erin Paul has been unofficially volunteering his time to document illegal tree cutting on Mt. Tecumseh in New Hampshire. And he reports any findings to Forest Service's law enforcement division. Forest Service is investigating this vandalism, and if they can determine who is doing it, they will hold them accountable. The higher elevations of the White Mountains are home to rare bird habitat. And Mountain birdwatch results indicate that between 2000 and 2009 Bicknell's Thrush, an extremely rare species with very limited breeding grounds, was detected on Mt. Tecumseh. So this vandalism could be destroying rare bird habitat. To the best of our knowledge, the cutting started in 2011. And Erin Paul's coverage of the issue has created an independent timeline that identifies specific groups of interest. [Read more] | [View photos]

 

Mount Tecumseh, New Hampshire

Low Impact Trail Work

This documentary work focuses on trail work. Since 2011, there has been an excessive amount of stonework done on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail in New Hampshire. Sections of trail where four or five stone steps would have done the job have been transformed into one hundred foot long elaborate, unnatural looking, staircases. Trail stewardship groups preach that low-impact trail work entails building stonework in such a way that it looks natural and blends into nature, and man’s impact on nature is minimal. However, this is not the case on this trail. Forest Service has verified that much of the work is being done by nonprofessional trail builders. The information included with this work is based on low-impact trail building practices, and communications with Forest Service. These photos show the state of the trail.[Read more] | [View photos]

 

Back to projects page

 

Notes:

• ScenicNH Photography is in the business of photography. We create awareness for historic preservation and environmental conservation.

• Human impact in the New Hampshire White Mountains is the number one conservation issue. However, it has been an issue for years.

• While some may find the above work upsetting, it shows what is really happening in the White Mountains.

• This is a work in progress and is subject to errors and omissions.

• See more of our ongoing history work at the projects page.