Some Things Really DO Require an Act of Congress…

February 15th, 2011 by Alice

On February 10, 2011, the 112th Congress of the United States of America passed House Resolution 84 commemorating the enactment and enduring legacy of the Weeks Act. The Weeks Act established public policy for formal collaborations between state and federal governments to manage forest land in the eastern United States, culminating in the establishment of the eastern National Forests. Initially born of conservation concerns for the vulnerable forested regions of the White Mountains and southern Appalachia, the eastern National Forest system has grown to include fifty-two forests in twenty-six states, comprising nearly 25,000,000 acres of land.

"...streams that were once filled with silt and debris now flow clean and clear, degraded habitats have been restored, and fish and game have returned..."

National Forests differ from National Parks in several ways, including how they integrate land use and conservation efforts. National Forests, for example, include the sustainable growth and harvesting of timber and other renewable forest products.

In 1911, much of what residents and visitors now experience as lush, beautiful forests and grasslands, was barren and battered, denuded by short-sighted harvesting practices. Precious top soil was exposed to harsh weather conditions and blew away. Run-off from the damaged land and other side-effects of poor forest management rendered rivers and streams increasingly inhospitable to plants and animals. John W Weeks viewed forests as renewable resources that could be managed to the benefit of their health and longevity, even while meeting the relentless demand for high quality timber, wood pulp, and other forest resources.

John W Weeks served the nation first as a Representative (1905-1913), then a Senator (1913-1919), and finally as the Secretary of War (1921-1925) in the Cabinets of Presidents Harding and Coolidge.  Understanding the context in which the Weeks Act was signed into law helps us to see that many things we might take for granted–such as the existence of the forests for recreation, economic gain, and scientific inquiry–are actually the result of one man’s visionary efforts to design and implement a system that would support effective conservation-oriented land management practices.  Though he died in 1926, scarcely fifteen years after the signing of the Act named for him, the forests for which he advocated with such dedication already showed signs of recovery.  H. Res. 84 honors his public service, inspired vision, and the present day results of his remarkable accomplishment.  To read the full text of the Resolution, Click Here.

To keep up with events, exhibitions, educational opportunities, historical and cultural information and other resources related to the Centennial Celebration of the Weeks Act, please visit and Goes Live!

February 9th, 2011 by Alice

The Weeks Act Centennial celebrates 100 years since the conservation vision of John Weeks that led to the establishment of the eastern national forests.

A diverse group of individuals and organizations have combined efforts to create an official website to promote information, events, and other opportunities related to the 2011 celebration of the Weeks Act centennial.  In addition to providing an overview of all of the events and educational opportunities related to the centennial celebration, is a treasure trove of information about the history of the Act, cultural arts unique to the region, and multi-media presentations.

Not only is this a great site to visit to get information, it’s interactive!  Share stories about your forest experiences and read those shared by other visitors on the Memories page.  Has your family grown tired of your annual recounting of Uncle Bob climbing that tree in record speed when he heard a bull frog for the first time?  Tell it here!  You’ve got a whole new audience!  Bookmark and return to visit it often for updates, new tales, and to keep track of upcoming events. is part of a coordinated New Hampshire effort celebrating the Weeks Act Centennial and honoring the tradition of conservation and partnerships exemplified by the act, which created Eastern National Forests.  Celebrating the Weeks Act and the creation of Eastern National Forests provides an opportunity to promote increased awareness of sustainable forestry, land stewardship and citizen-based conservation.


Farm & Forest, Weeks Act Centennial Site Debut, and More!

February 3rd, 2011 by Alice



New Hampshire's Farm & Forest Exposition, "New Hampshire's Greatest Winter Fair," takes place on Friday, Feb 4 and Saturday, Feb 5, at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

This year at the New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo, the Center for Rural Partnerships is collaborating with a number of different organizations to deliver interesting programs to the people of New Hampshire.  Ben Amsden, in collaboration with the University of Vermont Cooperative Extension, has developed another great program devoted to agritourism, risk management, and local food.

Nicole DeGrandpre, Kelly Rice (both student assistants), Linda Upham-Bornstein, and I are also partnering with the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, the Museum of the White Mountains, and others to provide a fun and edifying, interactive exhibit.  We will have multiple computer terminals to help students get oriented to the Beyond Brown Paper Collection, the Protecting the Forests Exhibit, our Weeks Act Centennial web pages, and Linda and Nicole’s video about the Life and Times of W.R. Brown.

See you at Farm and Forest!


Thaddeus C Guldbrandsen


North Country Talent Showcase Opens at St. Kieran Arts Center

January 28th, 2011 by Alice

Berlin, NH — The 2011 Art Series kicks of on Sunday, January 30, at 2PM with the sixth annual North Country Talent Showcase and a new historic exhibition celebrating the Centennial of the Weeks Act.

The North Country Talent Showcase is a fun and fast-paced variety show offering something for everyone. This year’s show includes an exciting pre-show performance by Tim Dion and Friends and viewing of the exhibition: Protecting the Forest: the Week’s Act of 1911. The photographs and interpretive panels are being toured by Plymouth State University and will be in display until March 30.

St. Kieran Arts Center

St. Kieran Arts Center is one of New Hampshire's most vibrant cultural arts hubs.

Local artists “strutting their stuff” and sharing their talents on stage include: The popular Berlin High Accapella Show Chorus “Shockapella”;  flutist Monique Lavertu;  vocalist Max Sjostrom;  the North Country Bell Choir;  line dancing by  Lawrence and Karen Mailloux; Quebec Heritage fiddlers Larry and Henry Riendeau with guitarist Dex Doherty; classical guitar with Nic Tremblay; French songs and sing-a-long with Lionel Roy; WWII tunes by the Women’s Harmony Group featuring Shirley Jackson, Denise Doucette, Madeline Jeffrey; Lynn Dion and Sally Tourangeau. The fun and festive afternoon will wrap-up with Tim Dion and Friends and  an all-cast tribute to America.

“The Talent Showcase would not be possible without the energy and enthusiasm of show coordinator Denise Doucette and all of the wonderful people who donate their time and talent to make it an annual success.  Special thanks to Tim Dion for his technical assistance, Brad Wilson for stage management, and to Bob and Randy Labnon for being show hosts and announcers.  This show is always a hand-clapping, foot-stomping good time. Don’t miss it and remember to bring a friend!” states Joan Chamberlain, Executive Director

St. Kieran Arts Center is a non-profit charitable trust supported in part by grants from the NH State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation/North Country’s Art Ventures Fund, an Anonymous Fund, Libby Family Fund, North Country Region Community Fund and the Stanton and Elizabeth Davis Fund.

Upcoming Sunday performances in the 2011 Series include a special Valentine’s Day performance by Celia Slattery and Friends, February 13; The Funky Divas of Gospel, February 27; Denise and Davey Celtic Duo, March 6; and world-champion fiddler Richard Wood with Gordon Belcher, March 27. The St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Celebration will be held on March 17 at the Town and Country Motor Inn with advance tickets on sale soon.

Season Memberships tickets to all 2011 Main Stage performances are available for $150 adults, $125 seniors and $75 students.   Members also receive a discount on the Summer Celtic Series, news updates, and special events invitations.

The Talent Showcase features more than sixty local singers, dancers, musicians, and other artists.  Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for students.  For more information, to see the full schedule of events,  or to become a member, please visit or call 1.603.752.1028.

Weeks Act Centennial Blog Posts Reveal Another Layer of History

January 27th, 2011 by Alice

33 years after publishing The Lands Nobody Wanted with Bill Shands (forest policy analyst, now deceased), Dr. Bob Healy revisits their classic work around issues related to eastern national forest policy with a series of blog posts hosted by the Forest History Society in observance of the Weeks Act Centennial.


Click here for more.

Sterling College to Launch Farm-to-Table Food Studies Program in Summer 2011

January 26th, 2011 by Alice

Another NFHERN member is making news–read below for the details of a unique and vital program scheduled to launch this summer!

Craftsbury Common, VT – Sterling College, a small, year-round liberal arts college in northern Vermont, will inaugurate a new academic program in farm-to-table food studies in summer 2011. “Vermont’s Table: Farming, Cooking, and the Rural Experience” combines hands-on culinary training using locally sourced vegetables and meatswith in-depth examinations of Vermont’s most innovative farms, cheesemakers, and agricultural businesses.

Sterling College Hands disk

Sterling College is a founding member of the Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network (NFHERN).

Sterling College is fortunate to be situated in one of the nation’s leading hot-spots for sustainable food economy. The North-east Kingdom of Vermont has received national acclaim for its entrepreneurial initiative and the diversity of successful food-related businesses. “Vermont’s Table” exposes college-level students and adult learners to the inner workings of this vibrant local food economy.

Environmental studies form the core of Sterling’s curriculum, and the addition of a semester program in food studies under-scores the link between healthy food and a healthy environment. Sustainable agriculture is one of six areas of study at Sterling, and participants in the food studies program will work alongside and shadow agriculture students on Sterling’s diversified organic farm.

The inaugural program will be held in two 5-week sessions during Sterling’s summer semester. Students are encouraged to attend both sessions, but can apply for only one. Courses include Whole Farm Thinking and Farm-Scale Production of Value-Added Products, in addition to seminars in Food Writing and Food Entrepreneurism and a field study in Vermont Food Systems.

“We have an awesome lineup of hands-on-the-cheese-press, toes-in-the-soil, and eye-on-the-books activities in the works,” said Anne Obelnicki, Sterling’s Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator and lead faculty for the culinary program. “Sterling is surrounded and supported by so many amazing regional resources – in terms of people, businesses, ecology, and landscape. It’s going to be a dynamic and engaging semester.”

The new program and most of its 12 students will be centered in Houston House, at the south end of the college’s campus, a former 19th Century Inn with its own kitchen and dining area. The curriculum benefits from advice from food writer Marian Burros, a trustee of Sterling College, and Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University, among others.

More Info:

Tweet This News: Vermont College Launches New Food Studies Program @sterlingcollege

Weeks Act History Exhibit Now on Display at Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center

November 1st, 2010 by CfRP

Weeks Act focus of upcoming issue of Appalachia, AMC Annual Meeting

October 29, 2010

In celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act, an interpretive exhibit that tells the story of that historic legislation is on display at theAppalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center at Crawford Notch.

The Weeks Act of 1911 established the eastern national forest system and led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest.

On loan from Plymouth State University, the exhibit, titled “Protecting the Forests: The Weeks Act of 1911,” uses historic images and accompanying text to tell the story of land use in the White Mountains, tracing the advent of tourism, rail travel, and timber barons in the region.


To read more, visit the AMC website!

“Meet Your Neighbors” Salon Series: An Evening with Don Wharton

July 19th, 2010 by CfRP

7 p.m. Tuesday, August 3

The Rocks Estate, Route 302, Bethlehem

Landaff resident Don Wharton is the former president of Plymouth State University. Join us for an informal reading from Don’s “Landaff Days” and a discussion on writing about nature and community. All are welcome; donations gratefully accepted to support the series.

Preregistration appreciated. Call 323-7302 or e-mail info@

For more information see the flyer attached here! (PDF)

NOFANH Tours/workshops

July 12th, 2010 by CfRP

O r g a n i c

Garden & Farm Tours

These tours/workshops offer excellent opportunities to learn from others that are farming and gardening organically, as well as practicing homestead arts. Everyone is welcome to attend any of these tours/workshops. Pre-registration is requested but not required. For the potluck gatherings that follow several of these events, please bring a dish to share and your own picnic set up, including plates, utensils, beverages and a chair or blanket.

Tours are held Rain or Shine (extreme weather will cancel)

Tours (and workshop) are $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members(children under 18 are free.) If you have financial need, please contact us.

For more information visit the NOFANH website and their newsletter PDF

Friends of the Arts

July 12th, 2010 by CfRP

Exciting news to share!!!

Friends of the Arts  is inviting all our Arts Partners and Friends to a very
special Author Presentation on Monday, July 19th at our newest venue on Main
Street, Plymouth, NH, known as the Art Cellar.  There is no fee to attend,
although donations are always welcome.

We are very fortunate to have world class author and former director of both
the National Museum of American History and The National Parks Service,
Roger G. Kennedy, present excerpts and images from his new book, “‘When Art
Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy”.

Recently featured on NH Public Radio, Kennedy and his new book chronicles
the New Deal’s mobilization of artists to help reanimate our musical,
theatrical, pictorial, sculptural, and craft traditions, as it assisted
artists of landscape and citiscape to do their best work in the public

The presentation will begin at 6:30 and is sponsored by Friends of the Arts
Regional Arts Council.  Admission is free, although donations are always

To register for the program or for more information, please call (603)
536-1182 or you can email Executive Director, Mark Dionne, at

Hope to see on the 19th!

Cynthia Vascak and Mark Dionne

Mark Dionne
Executive Director
Friends of the Arts Regional Arts Council PO Box 386 Plymouth, NH 03264
(603) 536-1182

Cynthia Vascak Ph.D.
Chair, Art Department Plymouth State University Coordinator, MAT in Art
17 High St., Plymouth, NH 03264

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
MSC 68, 17 High St.
Plymouth State University

(603) 535-3275 (Voice)

Ben Amsden
(603) 535-3276

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