White Mountain National Forest

WMNF

 

White Mountain National Forest officials are reminding visitors to be prepared for slippery rocks, spring melt-off and high stream crossing levels this Memorial Day weekend.

Officials say be sure to check weather conditions for the area that you're planning to visit. Some places still have snow.

Not all forest system roads are open for the season yet. Road openings are posted regularly online.

Most campgrounds are open, but food and trash should be properly stored so as not to attract bears.

 

DEERHAKE. 11 VIA FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

 

The caretakers of the White Mountain National Forest count among their 2018 accomplishments a land addition, investment in roads and trails and support from volunteers.

Officials say a highlight last year was adding nearly 800 acres to the forest's boundary by securing a new tract of land along the Upper Ammonoosuc River.

Something Wild: The Dangers of Hiking the Whites

Oct 26, 2018
Dave shares a few tips about hiking safely and conscientiously.

I rolled into the parking lot of the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I was there to meet two White Mountain hiking experts. Authors Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff Books and Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide. Steve also owns the Mountain Wanderer. From the bookstore, we drove to a nearby trail head for the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in Lincoln.

Jessica Hunt/NHPR

We sit down with Glenn Normandeau, Executive Director of New Hampshire Fish and Game (at left).  We discuss recent headlines about his agency: from public boat launches to bears in downtown neighborhoods to a recent legislative study calling Fish and Game "woefully underfunded."

Joe Lentini / NHFG

Legislators want to talk to federal officials about paying for hiker rescues in the White Mountain National Forest.

But the head of the state Department of Fish & Game isn't optimistic that will solve his agency’s money problems.

Fish & Game executive director Glenn Normandeau says half of the state's search-and-rescue operations are for hikers -- largely in the White Mountains.

Going Local: The White Mountains

Jul 25, 2018

We look at the White Mountains as part of our regional series, Going Local.

The White Mountains have some of the best hiking, ATV trails, skiing, and other outdoor sports opportunities in the country, and the region features plenty of attractions for families and adventurers alike. However, sustainable workforce opportunities and affordable housing remain a challenge for the area, and the ever-growing popularity of tourist attractions like Mount Washington present problems for both traffic, and conservation. We'll talk about what makes the White Mountains region unique, and what is on the minds of people who live there. 

Google maps

 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says two sets of hikers had to be rescued from the White Mountains because they were unprepared for the terrain and cold, windy conditions.

A 77-year-old Florida man and 71-year-old woman from New York were found at 11:20 Friday night off the Tuckerman Ravine trail after requesting a rescue. Both had hypothermia.

Volunteers worked overnight carrying them to the Mount Washington Auto Road where they were driven down. The woman was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

U.S. Forest Service

The last prescribed burns of the year are set for this week in the White Mountain National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service has been setting fires since April all across the forest area in New Hampshire and Maine.

The controlled burns are a way of restoring habitat and reducing the risk of wildfires.

Weather permitting, North Country residents might see smoke or roads closed in parts of the forest on Wednesday and Thursday.

Burn season must end after May 31, when nesting season for the protected northern long-eared bat begins.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The Forest Service announced Thursday it will remove the Thoreau Falls Bridge and not replace it.

 

The bridge is located in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  It was built in 1962, two years before the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Annie Ropiek for NHPR

Crews in the White Mountains will spend the summer repairing the oldest hiking trail in continuous use in America. Crawford Path has carried countless hikers to the summit of Mount Washington for nearly 200 years, and endured a lot of wear and tear along the way.

Now it’s getting a badly needed facelift, to mark the White Mountain National Forest’s hundredth birthday

This week on Word of Mouth, two stories about New Hampshire's past, and what it means for the future. First, what did New Hampshire's landscape look like before the intensive logging and development of the past few centuries, and what does that tell us about our history?

Next, a New Hampshire court case in the 1970s wound its way to the Supreme Court--and what seemed at the time to be a narrow freedom of speech case is still influencing laws today. 

Forest Service Urges Caution After Storm for Hikers, Others

Nov 5, 2017
U.S. Forest Service, USDA

  Officials with the White Mountain National Forest say hikers and others should expect to encounter hazardous conditions after the recent damaging storm.

High winds brought town trees and limbs and spread debris that may block trails and make roads impassable. Heavy rains also have swollen rivers and streams, and visitors are being warned to stay away from high water areas.

Something Wild: The Dangers of Hiking the Whites

Oct 27, 2017
Dave shares a few tips about hiking safely and conscientiously.

I rolled into the parking lot of the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I was there to meet two White Mountain hiking experts. Authors Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff Books and Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide. Steve also owns the Mountain Wanderer. From the bookstore, we drove to a nearby trail head for the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in Lincoln.

KEN WATSON / KENWATSON.NET

An isolated forest fire in North Woodstock is so stubborn that even this rainy weather is not fully putting it out.

Woodstock Fire Chief John MacKay says the Dilly Cliff fire that was first reported Oct. 3 is contained, but some spots are still smoldering.

"With this rain the last two days I’d say it’s probably 90 percent put out," MacKay said today on NHPR's The Exchange.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The White Mountain National Forest has a new supervisor. Clare Mendelsohn succeeds Tom Wagner, who retired last month after 15 years of service. She served as deputy supervisor for the past two years.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with her yesterday.


FILE

Despite the forest fire in North Woodstock, tourism officials are urging visitors that the White Mountains are open for business.

The Lost River Gorge is closed this weekend due to the fire on about 25 acres on nearby Dilly Cliff, but no property was damaged as a result. 

Colleen Eliason of the White Mountains Attraction Association says she expects about 30,000 visitors to come to the area this holiday weekend.

Royalbroil / Wikimedia Commons

The White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire has a new supervisor.

Clare Mendelsohn, deputy forest supervisor since July 2015, succeeds Tom Wagner, who retired from the agency after 15 years.

Mendelsohn spent 25 years as an environmental professional in various capacities as a civilian working for the U.S. Air Force. The last 11 were spent in San Francisco as director of the Western Regional Environmental Office, where she gained experience in partnering for landscape scale conservation and natural resources management.

Saturday, visitors to the White Mountain National Forest can enjoy the public land for free.

September 30th is National Public Lands Day in the U.S. and the White Mountain National Forest is celebrating by waiving day-use fees for visitors. Fees for camping and other activities will remain in place.

Tiffany Benna with the U.S. Forest Service says the day is a great excuse to make a trip before chilly weather sets in.

NHPR/Sara Plourde

The woods of New Hampshire are scattered with signs of civilization: crumbling foundations, railroad spikes, scraps of unidentifiable metal.

Find enough of these in one place, and you're probably looking at a ghost town - a place people once called home, and have long-since abandoned. 

Chris Jensen

The supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest is stepping down.

Tom Wagner announced this week that he’s retiring at the beginning of September. He’s served in the role for 15 years, overseeing 800,000 acres of forest in New Hampshire and western Maine.

A decision on whether to replace a dilapidated bridge in the Pemi Wilderness Area of the White Mountain National Forest won’t come until early next year. That's longer than expected because the agency is using an unusual procedure to allow additional public comment on the controversial issue, according to the forest service.

The structure is the Thoreau Falls Bridge, which crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. It is a six-mile hike from the Lincoln Woods Ranger station just off the Kancamagus Highway.

Massachusetts Man Rescued In Pemigewasset Wilderness

Dec 23, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

A 54-year-old Massachusetts man suffering from hypothermia was rescued Tuesday in the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, according to Lt. James Kneeland of Fish and Game.

Christopher Wright of Mattapoisett triggered an emergency locator beacon about 1:30 pm and the request for help was relayed to Fish and Game.

Two Fish and Game officers found Wright in his tent on the bank of the Franconia Brook, warmed him and escorted him out of the woods. Kneeland said Wright, who was on a two-day trip, had appropriate gear but said he wasn’t able to stay dry during steady rain.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Sometime next year an official with the White Mountain National Forest will try to answer a complex question: How wild should the wilderness be?

The issue is whether to remove – or replace - a decrepit bridge in the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area.

Department of Energy

Last week Eversource official Lee Olivier told analysts that the company still thinks completely burying the Northern Pass line is “unnecessary” and “prohibitively expensive.”

But, he said, some additional burial might be possible.

That comes in response to the release of a new report from the Department of Energy that includes a look at the issue.

For years opponents of the controversial Northern Pass project have contended the overhead transmission lines could be buried.

And Northern Pass officials have insisted burial is too expensive.

Grace Family via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The White Mountain National Forest has a new deputy forest supervisor.

Clare Mendelsohn has been an environmental professional in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, with the last 11 spent in San Francisco as director of the Western Regional Environmental Office. She gained experience there in partnering for landscape scale conservation and natural resources management.

In 2013, she started working for the U.S. Forest Service in the position of public service team leader on the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The hard-core hikers call it the grid, the big list.

Perhaps you know someone who has walked up all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 foot peaks. It’s a lot less likely, but maybe you’ve even met someone who has hiked them in the winter. But for the most resolute hikers, even that’s not enough. They strive to hike every 4,000-footer in every month of the year...that’s 576 hikes.

It took more than a decade, but on Wednesday New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley got to check off the 576th box in his grid.

via WhiteMountainHistory.org

One of the oldest structures in the White Mountain National Forest is being restored.

Built by the U.S. Forest Service, Fabyan Guard Station is a one-room log cabin on Cherry Mountain Road in the Bretton Woods area. It was built in 1923 and is the last example of a guard station in the forest.

Employees called forest guards were once stationed in these remote cabins.

Bryan Pocius / Flickr Creative Commons

Campgrounds in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest are open, but the Forest Service is warning people that some areas still have snow, and spring melt-off can lead to some slippery footing.  The Forest Service says heavy rainfall and slower seasonal changes also can cause stream crossings to be high and footing slick. Campers also need to be wary of bears and invasive insects.  Campers are advised to properly store all food and drink, and empty food wrappers.  Campers can introduce invasive insects to the area by bringing firewood from home; they need to buy firewood locally.

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites, including those in the White Mountain National Forest, over the Veterans Day holiday weekend.    Forest fees have been waived from Saturday through Monday.    Fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations, and concession activities.      

Walsh TD via Flickr Creative Commons

Following the resolution of the partial government shutdown, officials at the White Mountain National Forest say they’ll be back to a full staff of 120 employees by the end of the week.

Forest Supervisor Tom Wagner says he received official word late Wednesday night, and began calling employees back to work first thing Thursday morning.

“I probably have about 50 percent of my workforce back now, and the remainder will be up and operational tomorrow at 8 o’clock in the morning.”

The shutdown forced the national forest to cut its staff down to roughly 16 employees.

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