Yet the Destruction Continued

Logging railroad trestle and cutover slopes Forest History Society

Logging railroad trestle and cutover slopes Forest History Society

Despite the talk, conditions did not change in the White Mountains. In the October 1907 edition of Forestry and Irrigation, editor Thomas Will wrote: “Again prophecy has become history. On August 10th [1907] Forester Ayres of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Secretary Will of the American Forestry Association sat on Mt.Lafayette and looked over some 25,000 acres clean cut by the J.E. Henry Co. The ground was thickly covered with branches, tops and logs. They predicted that forest fires would soon sweep this region. On Aug. 27th, seventeen days later, the Boston Post said in part in an editorial: ‘In the once virgin and beautiful White Mountain region it is happening as predicted. Following the lumberman comes the fire, and it is the end of forest beauty for not less than a generation and perhaps forever. … Survey from Mt. Lafayette shows Mt. Bond to be swept clean, the easterly slope of Mt. Garfield burned over, and the southerly slope of Mt. Guyot fiercely burning with flames eating up Mt. Lafayette.’”

Fire burned for many days during the second half of August. Thomas Will reported in September 1907 that:

It has become almost literally true that, where until recently stood a primeval forest, after cutting there remains standing scarcely a pole on which a bird can build its nest.

In President Roosevelt’s 1907 annual message, he declared: “We should acquire in the Appalachian and White Mountain regions all the forest lands that it is possible to acquire for the use of the Nation. These lands, because they form a National asset, are as emphatically national as the rivers which they feed, and which flow through so many States before they reach the ocean.”

Rocky Branch cutover area after fire—Conway area Forest History Society

Rocky Branch cutover area after fire—Conway area Forest History Society

Man walking along burned out hills after fire Forest History Society

Man walking along burned out hills after fire Forest History Society