Mark Your Calendar! July 29 Festival at Mount Washington!

July 19th, 2011 by Alice

On Friday, July 29, from 9am-3pm, organizations from all over are hosting a festival celebrating this historic event.  It will take place at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road.  (Click to view Google Map)  There will be music, hands-on activities, storytelling, and more!

This article in the Nashua Telegraph tells more about the history of the Act, its relevance today, and details about the festival.

2011 is the centennial anniversary of the Weeks Act, named for New Hampshire native John Wingate Weeks.  This act established the Eastern National Forests, of which we have a stunning local example: the White Mountain National Forest.

The July 29th festival is presented by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF), the Weeks State Park Association, and the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF).

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about the Weeks Act, events, and other resources, please visit: www.weekslegacy.org.

Brown Company R&D: “Industrial Explorers” Exhibition Online

July 13th, 2011 by Alice

The “Industrial Explorers” exhibition of panels tracing the origins and history of the innovative Brown Company Research and Development group is now available to view online and to download (see links below).

The Berlin, NH, company pioneered a number of innovations, driven by a desire to make better use of the forest as a resource for a wide array of products—from “aeroplane spruce” to “kraft” pulp/paper, and including some unlikely stops along the way (“Kream Krisp,” anyone?).

Below are links to two files and one web page. The first is to a file of the panels, themselves. The second is a transcription of the text on the panels. The third is a page on this website, where you can view images of the panels.  We’ll post a link to an online slide-show version of the exhibition in the near future.

INDUSTRIAL EXPLORERS – Text

INDUSTRIAL EXPLORERS EXHIBIT – Panels

JPEG Panel Images

Please contact Linda Upham-Bornstein, who did the research and developed the content of the exhibition, with questions or comments.  She can be reached best via email: luphambornstein@plymouth.edu.

All of the photos used on the panels came from the Beyond Brown Paper collection, which you can view and annotate online at: beyondbrownpaper.plymouth.edu.

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 www.WeeksLegacy.org and http://www.plymouth.edu/center-for-rural-partnerships/weeks-act/

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.

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