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.

Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Weeks Act with 100 activities at Weeks State Park

August 2nd, 2011 by Melissa

LANCASTER — An appearance by Smokey the Bear, live music, a vintage car rally, plein air painters, an afternoon tea, scavenger hunts, and old-time activities like croquet and badminton are among the 100 exciting activities planned for Weeks State Park on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act. This important federal legislation, named for Lancaster native John W. Weeks, led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest and more than 50 other national forests.

All of the events at the park are free and open to the public. Families with children are especially encouraged to attend, as there will be many activities that appeal to kids.

The highlight of the weekend is an evening champagne reception and musical evening fundraiser with well-known North Country fiddler Patrick Ross & Friends on Saturday, August 13 at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by contacting the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire at info@aannh.org or by calling (603) 323-7302.  Proceeds from the evening will be shared by Weeks State Park and the Arts Alliance.

In addition, every Thursday from 5 to 7 pm painters will work outdoors at the Park before the evening program. Stay tuned here for more information on all of the activities planned for the weekend, or check for details and updates at www.aannh.org.

The weekend’s events are part of the White Mountains Cultural Festival: 8 Days of Weeks, a collaborative, grassroots festival honoring the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage that is being held on the eight weekend days of August. Festival activities – all celebrating the connections between art and nature – will be focused in a different part of the region each weekend, with an activity hub serving as the focal point, along with local festivals, heritage days, concerts and other activities in many surrounding communities.

Community celebrations during the first weekend, August 6 and 7, are being held from Plymouth to Lincoln, with special events in Holderness, which will mark the 250th Anniversary of the town, and in Wonalancet, which has planned a village-wide event that includes hikes, talks, home tours, music and art to celebrate Wonalancet as it was 100 years ago.

On the second weekend, in addition to festivities at Weeks State Park, Whitefield will celebrate with an art exhibit, workshops with Weeks cartoonist Marek Bennett, stories of the community and its history told by residents, and a walking tour of the downtown. Specific information on Festival activities and the Weeks Act celebration can be found on the Arts Alliance website at www.aannh.org and at www.weekslegacy.org.

The Festival is coordinated by the Arts Alliance in partnership with the White Mountain National Forest and Arts Alliance members and partners throughout the region and around the state, including the Weeks Centennial Coordinating Committee.

“Outdoors with the AMC” Column Outlines Upcoming Weeks Act Centennial Activities

July 15th, 2011 by Melissa

What comes to mind when you think of the White Mountain National Forest and its surroundings?  Recreational opportunities? Forest products? Natural attractions? Partnerships?  All of these and more will be highlighted at the Weeks Act Centennial Festival, to be held at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road on July 29 from 9 am to 3 pm.

Among the day’s offerings are Junior Ranger activities; water, pond, and stream discovery activities; a weather demonstration by representatives of the Mount Washington Observatory; a hands-on watershed display; and the mobile forest heritage museum, “Way of the Woods.”

Crafts and craftspeople will also be featured, with demonstrations to include a cross-cut competition with the University of New Hampshire Woodsmen; wood-turning; basket-making; and an old tools demonstration. Representatives from the national forest and the Appalachian Mountain Club are set to lead a hike to view various trail structures and discuss techniques of trail management and trail maintenance. AMC representatives are also set to lead an interpretive hike during which they will point out White Mountain flora and fauna.

Logging history interpretation is set to be provided by Dick Fortin, and performances are slated with storyteller Rebecca Rule; Jeff Warner performing lumber camp songs; fiddler, Patrick Ross; and Marek Bennett and his band, Big Paws.

Read the full article at http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20110710/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/110719968/-1/new.

Mount Washington Observatory Weeks Lecture Series

July 6th, 2011 by Melissa

The Mount Washington Observatory’s Weather Discovery Center in North Conway will host a summer lecture series for six weeks in a row in July and August. This free lecture series focuses on the significance of the Weeks Act and its impact on the past, present and future of our national forests. This free series will be held at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway on six successive Tuesday nights in July and August.  All programs begin at 7pm.  The schedule is as follows:

July 12
Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More, Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, Brown University
The Impact of North Country Community and Collaboration in the Weeks Act of 1911

July 19
Tom Wagner, Supervisor, White Mountain National Forest
100 Years of Public Land Management

July 26
Mark Okrant, Professor of Tourism Management, Director of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, Plymouth State University
Two Centuries of Tourism in the White Mountains: A Region Comes Full Circle

August 2
David Govatski, U.S. Forest Service, retired; Board of Directors, whitemountainhistory.org
The Weeks Act and the Creation of the White Mountain National Forest

August 9
Linda Upham-Bornstein, Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Plymouth State University
Working Forests: From Market Revolution to Industrialization

August 16
Marcia Schmidt Blaine, Associate Professor of History, Plymouth State University
Saving the Mountains: Joseph B. Walker, Phillip Ayers, and the Weeks Act of 1911

For more information please visit the Mount Washington Observatory’s site: www.mountwashington.org/education/weeks/

Weeks Act Celebration Hike – Crawford Path & Gibbs Brook Scenic Area July 15th

July 6th, 2011 by Melissa

Weeks Act Celebration Hike – Crawford Path & Gibbs Brook Scenic Area.
Appalachian Mountain Club and Forest Society Co-leaders

Friday July 15th, 9 am to 4 pm
Raindate: Saturday, July 16th

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the historic Weeks Act which ultimately created the White Mountain National Forest. Amidst unsustainable logging practices and damage to water resources, two organizations; The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Appalachian Mountain Club led the cry of public outrage and called for the government to protect natural resources. In 1911 the Weeks Act was passed allowing the government to purchase private land for resource protection, enabling creation of the White Mountain National Forest and 51 other national forests totaling more than 20 million acres.

Among groups instrumental in passage of the Weeks Act, the Forest Society and AMC remain active today while the WMNF has grown from 7,000 to almost 800,000 acres. This year, the same two organizations celebrate those visionaries who fought long and hard for land conservation by co-sponsoring a commemorative hike in the heart of the White Mountains.

Join the Forest Society for a guided hike along the Crawford Path where the Weeks Act legacy surrounds us on a scenic trail in the mountains. Co- led by Dave Anderson, Director of Education, Forest Society and Nancy Ritger, AMC Senior Naturalist, this hike features our continuing partnership, the historic Crawford Path, the oldest continuously used hiking path in the US, Gibbs Brook with its scenic cascades and remnants of stream monitoring and Gibbs Brook Scenic Area featuring a rare patch of old growth forest. The hike is a moderate climb with opportunities to learn how the White Mountains were conserved. There is no charge, but registration is required as space is limited. Hikers should be prepared for mountain weather.

To pre-register e-mail signup@forestsociety.org or call (603) 224-9945 ext. 313.

Centennial of Weeks Act shines light on economic vitality of White Mt. National Forest

July 6th, 2011 by Melissa

What has the Weeks Act done for you lately?  Signed into law in March 1911, the Weeks Act set in motion a process that resulted in the preservation and management of more than 20 million acres and the establishment of more than 50 national forests in 23 states.

A recent article in the Concord Monitor outlines what this has meant for New Hampshire: a combination of conservation and sustainable economic development. Dozens of New Hampshire communities benefit directly from the fee receipts of timber cutting and the multiplier effects of timber-related jobs.

Read the full article from the Concord Monitor here.

Weeks State Park Association Free Summer Programs

June 28th, 2011 by Melissa

The Weeks State Park Association’s Evening Program Series is underway, featuring several presentations which specifically pertain to the Weeks Act.

On July 28, Dave Govatski will present on the Weeks Act & Creation of the White Mountain National Forest.  Dave will also speak about the The Weeks Act Legacy Trail on August 18, and will lead a Weeks Act Legacy Trail Field Trip on Saturday, August 20.  Rebecca Weeks and Sherrill More will discuss the Impact of Lancaster, NH on The Weeks Act of 1911 on August 25.

Many additional programs are scheduled; please view a complete listing of the summer schedule.

All programs are held at the Summit Lodge on Thursdays at 7 PM, unless otherwise noted.  Call the Park (788-4004) for confirmation of dates and topics.

Weeks State Park is located about 2 miles south of Lancaster, NH on Route 3.  Attendance is free and the public is invited to all programs.  Come early and enjoy the scenic park drive and views.

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.

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.

Weeks Act Centennial Blog Posts Reveal Another Layer of History

January 28th, 2011 by Alice

Thirty-three years after publishing The Lands Nobody Wanted with Bill Shands (a forest policy analyst, now deceased), Dr. Bob Healy revisits their work around issues related to eastern national forest policy with a series of blog posts hosted on the award winning “Peeling Back the Bark” blog.  The Forest History Society invited Dr. Healy to participate as part of the ongoing celebration of the Weeks Act Centennial.

Here is an excerpt from the first installment:

To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act in 2011, Peeling Back the Bark has asked Dr. Bob Healy of Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment to write a series of blog posts in which he’ll reflect on his classic book, "The Lands Nobody Wanted," and the future of the eastern national forests. Readers are invited to post comments and questions for Bob.

We called the book “The Lands Nobody Wanted” because so much of this land, particularly before 1950, was considered of little or no economic value. Much of it was abandoned farmland—hilly, infertile, and heavily eroded. We noted that “land abandoned by owners who could not pay the taxes was acquired by the government very cheaply. Local people were desperate for any activity that would pump money into a community, so they welcomed establishment of forests which provided for federal investment in otherwise unused land and generated badly needed jobs. And national forests provided a work place for President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps.” (p. 16)

Later, of course, the perceived value of the land changed, as did the policy considerations, questions, and needs.  Read more at the Peeling Back the Bark blog: http://bit.ly/h2Hgsc Participation by readers is encouraged.  Feel free to share your thoughts and to ask Dr. Healy questions about his books, eastern national forest history, or current concerns by using the comments section of the blog.

Dr. Healy teaches at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University where he is Professor Emeritus.  He also continues to write about environmental policy and his most recent book,Knowledge and Environmental Policy, was published by MIT Press in 2010.

The Forest History Society is a nonprofit educational institution that links the past to the future by identifying, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating information on the history of interactions between people, forests, and their related resources–timber, water, soil, forage, fish and wildlife, recreating, and scenic or spiritual values.