Our Involvement with the White Mountains Institute!

January 11th, 2012 by CfRP

This winter, we at the Center for Rural Partnerships are working on projects related to local food and agriculture in Northern New Hampshire, educational programs for health-care students in the North Country, the history and legacy of the Weeks Act, economic trends in the region, and much more.  The White Mountains Institute (WMI) is one initiative that has received a lot of our attention lately.  This is an effort to develop graduate courses, undergraduate courses, programs for families, and new on-line resources related to the White Mountains region.  Our first WMI courses are currently being offered as part of PSU’s winterim program.   We have a busy summer planned for WMI, and more information will be released in the coming days and weeks.  Meanwhile, please visit our web page: http://www.plymouth.edu/white-mountains-institute/

 

Weeks Act Centennial Festival = Great Success

August 4th, 2011 by Melissa

Campton, N.H., August 01, 2011—The White Mountain National Forest would like to thank all the exhibitors, partners, artists, and volunteers, for participating in the July 29, 2011, Weeks Act Centennial Festival. Your enthusiasm and energy truly made the festival a success and we appreciate your presence.

The event—commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act—attracted several hundred people (and over 50 retirees) to the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road to learn more about the National Forest, wood products, outdoor safety, water, and much more. Music, storytelling, and historical interpretations were entertaining and educational. Demonstrations from expert wood workers exhibiting their crafts were major highlights along with the hands on activities in the Family Pavilion.

“Having all our partners and friends in conservation and tourism along with the great group of retirees join us in this event was a clear statement of the legacy of the Weeks Act and the White Mountain National Forest,” reflected Forest Supervisor Thomas Wagner. “It’s in large part due to the Weeks Act that the White Mountain National Forest is here today, providing clean water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, forest products, and many other unique opportunities.”

For those who were unable to attend the festival, the Weeks Act made the creation of the National Forests east of the Mississippi River possible. This landmark piece of conservation legislation helped to create 41 National Forests in the Eastern United States. The Society for Protection of NH Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Plymouth State University, Weeks State Park Association, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, members of the Weeks family, and the White Mountain National Forest, will be providing several more activities and celebrations for the Weeks Act Centennial throughout the rest of the year. You can find a current list of events at www.weekslegacy.org.

For more information on the White Mountain National Forest please visit www.fs.fed.us/r9/white or call (603) 536-6100.

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.

Char Miller on the Legacy of the Weeks Act

June 21st, 2011 by Melissa

Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College and Senior Fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation spoke about the legacy of the Weeks Act and the history of forest conservation in the United States.  Miller’s talk integrates the historical, philosophical, and economic conditions that eventually led to the passing of the Weeks Act.

This video was produced by the US Department of Agriculture for the centennial celebration of the Weeks Act.

Hands-On Forest Activities at the Weeks Act Centennial Festival, July 29!

June 17th, 2011 by Melissa

The Weeks Act, passed in 1911, is marking its 100th Anniversary and the White Mountain National Forest along with several partner organizations is hosting a family-friendly festival on July 29 at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. This free, public event is part of a coordinated New Hampshire effort celebrating the Weeks Act Centennial.

Read about the list of activities at the Weeks Act Centennial Blog!

Additional information about the Weeks Act Centennial Festival and a list of other events are available at www.weekslegacy.org and www.fs.fed.us/r9/white
For more information:
Colleen Mainville
cmainville@fs.fed.us

or

Kelly Cioe, Kelly@whalenpr.com
O. 603-436-2347
C. 207-441-5624

“The Remarkable John Weeks” Available Now!

June 14th, 2011 by Melissa

Iris Baird and the Friends of the Weeks Memorial Library in Lancaster, NH have just published a new 60 page booklet about the life of John Wingate Weeks and his achievements including the passage and implementation of the Weeks Act.

The booklet is well illustrated with photographs and is available for $5 plus $2 for shipping from:

Weeks Memorial Library
128 Main Street
Lancaster, NH 03584-3031

Only 1,000 copies were printed locally at Sherwin Dodge Printers in Littleton, NH. This is a “must-have” for anyone interested in the Weeks Act or the life of John Wingate Weeks and his Lancaster, NH ties.

Save the Date!: Weeks Act Centennial Festival – July 29

May 20th, 2011 by Melissa

The Weeks Act, passed in 1911, is marking its 100th Anniversary.  The Weeks Act authorized the Federal purchase of land which has since helped to create 52 National Forests, including the White Mountain National Forest. These valuable forests now provide clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, forest products and so much more.

We are celebrating this important legislation and milestone at the Weeks Act Centennial Festival on July 29th.  There will be areas of activity to enjoy in several Pavilions at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road.

The Main Pavilion will highlight partnerships in conservation, recreation, and a White Mountain Marketplace that showcases area services, products and attractions.  The Main Pavilion will also host the stage where music, comedy and storytelling will be presented.

The Forest and Family Experience Pavilion will have many hands-on, family-friendly activities, including Hike Safe instruction, Junior Ranger activities and forest explorations.  You will find forestry demonstrations from past and present, watch craftsmen create their wares from wood, and learn about all that the forests have to offer at the Woodlands Pavilion. Food and refreshments will be available all day long under the Festival Food Pavilion.

This free, public event 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.

For more information, go to www.weekslegacy.org, or call 603.536.6100.

“Logging And The Weeks Act” on NHPR’s The Exchange this week

March 28th, 2011 by Alice

"Logging and the Weeks Act" on The Exchange on NHPR. Wednesday, March 30. Live at 9 AM, rebroadcast at 8 PM.

Continuing its series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act (the legislation that created the eastern National Forest system),  The Exchange on NHPR presents; “Logging and The Weeks Act”.

Catch it live on Wednesday, March 30 at 9 AM or when it is rebroadcast that evening at 8 PM.*  If neither of those times is convenient, you can visit the page later and either stream or download the audio file.  Past episodes of the series can be found here.

From the NHPR web page about the broadcast:

    At the turn of the 20th century, forests in the White Mountains were being clear cut and many were worried about the damage logging had done to the White’s.  The Weeks Act of 1911, helped protect these forests by the purchasing of land by the federal government.  Over time standards were set as to the amount loggers could log in the state.  Although they adapted, there have been challenges to the industry.  There has been the debate over logging in road less areas of the White Mountain National Forest as well as the change in industry in the North Country. Paper and pulp mills have been shutting down, while wood pellet and biomass plants have been popping up.  Today as we continue our look at the Weeks Act, we get an update on the logging industry, the challenges they face and what the future may hold for them.

*[Note: if you want to call in and participate, the morning show is the one you want!]

Check Out The Museum of the White Mountains Website!

March 4th, 2011 by Alice

The Museum of the White Mountains’ website is live!   Check it for up-to-date information about on-site and traveling exhibitions, related educational materials, exhibition catalogues, and  online galleries.  Also available are searchable collections, links  to related sites and articles, as well as details about the musuem’s mission and plans.

Paintings like this one by Alvan Fisher (1792-1863) – “Mt Jefferson, on route from Gorham to the Glen House” can be viewed in person or online.

 

The official opening of the Museum of the White Mountains is scheduled for February 2013 and will include gallery, exhibition, and classroom space, an auditorium, state-of-the-art digital learning resources,  interpretive trail, and meeting space.  Poised at the entrance to the White Mountain National Forest and benefitting from PSU’s educational, archival, and curatorial resources, the Museum of the White Mountains is uniquely suited to gathering and preserving important historical, technical, and cultural artifacts of the region for public and scholarly access.  The museum was established with the donation of a remarkable collection of artifacts by the late Daniel Noel of Intervale, NH.

Museum director Catherine Amidon has an extensive background in regional cultural arts curation and gallery direction.  The Museum of the White Mountains is of particular interest to her owing to both her New England roots and lifetime history of outdoor recreation in the White Mountains.

Lindsay Burke, collections assistant, has twin interests in exhibit design and installation, and collection organization, cataloguing, and care.

 

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/

Contact Us

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

(603) 535-3275 (Voice)
psu-cfrp@plymouth.edu

Ben Amsden
Interim Director
blamsden@plymouth.edu
(603) 535-3276

Marylynn Cote
Administrative Assistant
mcote9@plymouth.edu
(603) 535-3271

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