Sunday, November 16, 2008

Looking west (top) to the Franconias, and (bottom) northwest across the Pemigewasset Wilderness towards the Twins

The WMNF had been envisioned earlier than 1906 by groups seeking forest reserves strictly for conservation and recreation. Their push to get the government to buy and set aside large tracts of land in the East had been galvanized by the destructive forest fire in what is now the Pemigwasset Wilderness in 1907. Creating the WMNF was the dream of these so-called “recreationists”,during the painful years when they witnessed the all-out destruction of the “majestic forests” of the White Mountains by logging moguls like James Everell Henry and were powerless to stop it. They witnessed horrific fires ravage the same forests in August 1886, May 1903 and August 1907, fires that were exacerbated by the logging industry’s cost cutting silvacultural practices that included leaving ‘slash’ on the ground where trees were cut.

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