A century of success

January 16th, 2014 by Michael

     

    Woolsey S. Conover named Chair of the Museum of the White Mountains Advisory Council

    December 4th, 2013 by Lynn

      Woolsey S. Conover

      PLYMOUTH–Civic leader, volunteer, artist and philanthropist Woolsey S. Conover has been named chair of the advisory council for the Museum of the White Mountains by Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen.

      “Woolsey has graciously agreed to lead the Museum’s key volunteer group toward the realization of the Museum’s mission to preserve and promote the history, culture, and environmental legacy of the White Mountains region. PSU is fortunate to have a leader so well-respected throughout New England as its advocate and advisor,” President Steen said.

      “This is quite an honor for me,” said Conover. “The Museum encapsulates many of my primary interests, the making of art, the scope and beauty of the White Mountains, the importance of museums in our society, which capture the past and celebrate the future. Further, I am highly impressed with the outreach efforts Plymouth State is making under Sara Jayne Steen’s inestimable leadership to include residents of our region in its work and outcomes.”

      Conover is a trustee of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and former trustee of New Hampshire Public Radio, an advisor to The Northern Forest Center and several other New Hampshire non-profit organizations. He and his wife, Bea, are also involved with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

      These and other involvements have been typical for Conover and his wife since he retired from the employee benefits industry in Massachusetts and they moved north to Holderness.

      Prior to retirement, Conover was founder and principal of Consolidated Group Trust, an 800-employee business in Framingham, Mass. He served as a director of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, president of the Board of Governors for the Copley (Art) Society of Boston, a director of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and a trustee for the Danforth Museum of Art and the Rivers School. In 1993 he convened a group that led to the formation of the Foundation for Metrowest, a community foundation serving 30 cities and towns west of Boston.

      “Woolsey has deep devotion to the White Mountain region and experience in the non-profit sector that includes both museums and higher education,” according to the Museum’s founding director, Catherine Amidon. “He understands the strategic importance of building the Museum’s reputation and audience in these early years,” she added.

      A graduate of Princeton University, Conover is also an artist, a painter whose oil works featuring landscapes of the Lakes Region have been exhibited throughout New England.

      The Advisory Council of the Museum of the White Mountains is charged with advising the museum director and the wider University on the strategic direction of the new museum and assisting with developing a strong base of visitors, members, donors, and organizational supporters. Current members of the advisory council are: David Govatski; Dick Hamilton; P. Andrews McLane; Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More; Victoria Noel; John W. Small and Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.

      A native New Englander, Conover also enjoys travel, hiking and golf in his spare time.

      WSPA shows “The People’s Forest: Story of the WMNF” at the Rialto

      July 31st, 2013 by Lynn

        By Edith Tucker

        etucker@salmonpress.com

        Master of Ceremonies David Govatski, left, Dr. Catherine Amidon, founding director of the Museum of the White Mountains at PSU; Interim Director Ben Amsden of PSU’s Center for Rural Partnerships and producer David Huntley were on hand on Thursday night for the first Coös County screening of “The People’s Forest,” sponsored by the Weeks State Park Association (WSPA).

        LANCASTER – “The People’s Forest: the Story of the White Mountain National Forest,” a new 48-minute documentary by producer David Huntley, had its first showing in Coös County in front of nearly 170 people at the Rialto Theater on Thursday night, thanks to the generosity of the movie theater owners Dave Fuller and Greg Cloutier plus the sponsorship of the Weeks State Park Association (WSPA) that ordinarily presents its programs in the Weeks Lodge atop Mt. Prospect.

        “The People’s Forest” makes it clear that Lancaster native John Wingate Weeks of Newton, Mass., for whom the Weeks Act of 1911 is named, played a pivotal role in the creation of the WMNF by forging a coalition of concerned citizens and stakeholders from all walks of life, including his capitalist colleagues from Massachusetts whom he represented in Congress. A highly successful businessman himself, he recognized that it was under the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution that the headwaters of navigable streams could be protected, including the Merrimack River on which vast mills in Manchester and Lowell, Mass. depended, as well as the Connecticut, Androscoggin and Saco Rivers. Southern N. H. and eastern Mass. then as now depended on the water flow and hydroelectric power originating in the northern reaches of the Granite State.

        The movie, that includes vintage footage from U. S. Forest Service archival promotional black-and-white movies plus occasional re-enactments filmed elsewhere, also features a number of New Hampshire experts on why at the turn of the 20th century the White Mountains were stripped of much of their timber, causing erosion and wildfires. This encouraged men and women to fight to have Congress succeed in allowing the federal government to buy land to create the Eastern National Forests. Most of the commentators who were filmed also served as members of the Weeks Act Centennial Committee: Dave Govatski of Jefferson of the WSPA; historian Rebecca More, a Weeks’ descendent; WMNF Supervisor Tom Wagner; Jane Difley, president-forester of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests; Policy Director Susan Arnold of AMC; and Jasen Stock of the N. H. Timberland Owners Association.

        Producer, director, and scriptwriter David Huntley of Moore Huntley Productions, whose great grandfather immigrated to Berlin from Norway in 1903 and worked for the Brown Company for 40 years, wore his Limmer hiking boots for his introductory talk on Thursday night. Huntley said he had worked in the AMC hut system and was thrilled to have been tapped to make the film, which cost approximately $200,000, including monies spent to clean up USFS archival films.

        Huntley thanked the many people who researched the story as well as those at PSU who preserve and make accessible the region’s rich history. A short 14-minute version is already available on the web. The longer version will likely be on TV at some point during the coming year.

        Govatski and More were on hand on Thursday night as were Committee members Rebecca Oreskes of Milan and Prof. Vince Lunetta of Bethlehem, plus WSPA president Dave Tellman of Bethlehem and vice president Lynne Holland of Jefferson, Will Abbott of the SPNHF, and retired county forester Sam Stoddard of Lancaster, a WSPA board member.

        Project partners were also represented, including Dr. Catherine Amidon, founding director of the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University (PSU) and Ben Amsden, Interim Director of PSU’s Center for Rural Partnerships.

        The People’s Forest

        July 17th, 2013 by Lynn

          LANCASTER—Weeks State Park Association will host a premiere showing of “The People’s Forest– The Story of the White Mountain National Forest” at the Rialto Theater, Main Street, Lancaster at 7 pm, Thursday, July 25. Included with this new documentary film are two rare, historic short films — “Cloud Busting in the White Mountains” produced in 1920, and “Winter Sports in the White Mountains” produced in 1934. These films serve to illustrate the early days and provide deeper appreciation for this place we call the White Mountains. David Huntley of Moore Huntley Productions produced The People’s Forest. He and David Govatski, retired forester with the USDA Forest Service and member of the Weeks Act Centennial Committee, will introduce the films. Huntley provided the following summary—

          SYNOPSIS

          The People’s Forest tells the dramatic story behind the creation of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and Maine in 1918; one of the greatest environmental comeback stories in American history. It’s a fascinating tale of terrible man-made disasters, compelling New Hampshire characters, committed citizen activism, political bravery and fortitude… and the incredible rebirth and restoration of the Granite State’s beautiful natural backbone, the White Mountains.

          THE STORY

          In the period from 1880 to 1911, the White Mountains region was ground zero for a vast ecological disaster caused by intensive, indiscriminate logging and a rash of major forest fires.

          The destruction of New Hampshire’s forests sparked one of the nation’s first grassroots conservation movements and setoff a decades-long national battle over the fate of eastern forestlands. In the end, the crisis in the White Mountains helped force a Congressional showdown between some of early 20th century America’s most colorful and influential political leaders, including the Congressman who championed the legislation, John Wingate Weeks, a native of Lancaster, New Hampshire. The result was the Weeks Act of 1911, a groundbreaking piece of conservation legislation that enabled the federal government, for the first time, to purchase private land to protect vital watersheds and forests.

          The program explores how a quite unlikely alliance of citizen groups, environmental activists, business leaders, and members of the pulp and paper industry came to be an incredibly effective force for change and led the charge to save the White Mountains. The role of organizations with deep roots in the state, including the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Appalachian Mountain Club are featured.

          As the film illustrates, the momentous events taking place in the North Country at the turn of the 20th century had effects far beyond the White Mountains themselves. The film relates the story of the devastating floods that struck southern New Hampshire and other New England states in 1895 and 1896. The flooding closed down mills and other factories that depended on waterways like the Merrimack River for vital hydroelectric power. Thousands of people were put out of work as a result. Many blamed the flooding on the effects of deforestation in the White Mountains. The disasters led to the dawning of a new environmental consciousness in New England and throughout the country: people began to realize that natural systems like forests, watersheds, and rivers were inter-related over long distances and in complex, little-understood ways.

          And there were national ramifications as well. The tale of how a major, controversial piece of conservation legislation was passed by a bitterly divided Congress more than one hundred years ago is an especially timely one today, given the nation’s divisive national politics and legislative gridlock. As the film shows, the Weeks Act had a major, enduring impact on the landscape not only of New Hampshire, but the rest of the country as well. The Weeks Act led to the creation of fifty-two national forests and grasslands spread across forty-one states – a total of twenty million acres.

          The People’s Forest is produced by David Huntley/Moore Huntley Productions in collaboration with The Center for Rural Partnerships/Plymouth State University, The Museum of the White Mountains/Plymouth State University, and the Weeks Act Centennial Committee.

          Film, ‘The People’s Forest’ to receive its inaugural screening

          July 16th, 2013 by Lynn

            LEFT PHOTO: Smoke rises from large forest fires in the Pemigewassett valley, 1907. Logging camp buildings are in the foreground. Courtesy of White Mountain National Forest. RIGHT PHOTO: John Wingate Weeks, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and native of Lancaster. Weeks led the battle to pass federal legislation to purchase and protect damaged and threatened eastern forests, including the White Mountains. Courtesy Collection of the Library of Congress. COURTESY

            PLYMOUTH — A new documentary tells the compelling story of the beginning of America’s National Forests east of the Mississippi. And it all begins in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

            “The People’s Forest: The Story of the White Mountain National Forest” will premiere Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. in the Boyd Auditorium, Room 144, at Plymouth State University. The screening is free and open to the public.

            Produced by David Huntley and Moore Huntley productions, “The People’s Forest” looks at the mix of man-made disasters, colorful characters, citizen activism and political courage that brought about the protection of our National Forests through the Weeks Act of 1911.

            “While the dramatic chain of events depicted in the program took place well over a century ago” Huntley said. “he people involved and issues they confronted still crackle with unmistakable life and meaning.”

            For “The People’s Forest,” Huntley collaborated with Plymouth State University’s Center for Rural Partnerships and The Museum of the White Mountains.

            The program was made possible with the generous support of Plymouth State University and inspired by a shorter video produced for The Weeks Act Centennial Committee.

            The main character in “The People’s Forest” is Massachusetts Congressman John Wingate Weeks. Weeks, originally from Lancaster, had already enjoyed a successful career in finance and banking before his election to Congress in 1905.

            While he would have a 14-year career as a congressman and then senator, his lasting contribution is the Weeks Act of 1911, which allowed the federal government to purchase private land to protect watersheds and forests.

            As the film illustrates, events in New Hampshire’s North Country at the turn of the twentieth century had effects far beyond the White Mountains, including severe flooding in 1895 and 1896.

            These floods forced the closing of mills and other factories that depended on waterways like the Merrimack River for hydroelectric power. Thousands of people were out of work and many blamed the flooding on the impact of deforestation in the White Mountains.

            Citizens began to realize the connections among natural systems such as forests, watershed and rivers.

            Standing in the way of Weeks’ bill was a bitterly-divided Congress which had debated similar conservation legislation in previous sessions. What was new was an unlikely alliance of citizen groups, environmental activists, business leaders and members of the pulp and paper industry.

            The film shows the Weeks Act’s enduring impact on the landscape of New Hampshire and the United States. In the century since its passage, more than fifty-two national forests and grasslands in forty-one states — more than twenty million acres — are now protected.

            Filmmaker David Huntley specializes in productions in extreme and isolated environments, from the Arctic tundra to the jungles of Central America.

            He has produced, directed and written for PBS televisions series such as NOVA and Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, and specials and series for the History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic.

            “It’s been a unique pleasure to work with Plymouth State University on this video program,” he said. The University’s “diverse academic and archival resources have been invaluable to this production.”

            “This documentary of the Weeks Act is a remarkable piece of work,” said Thad Guldbrandsen, vice provost for research and engagement at Plymouth State University. “We are fortunate to have worked with David Huntley, a world-class film maker with roots in the White Mountains. I think everyone is going be really pleased with the short video he produced for the Centennial of the Weeks Act, as well as this longer, broadcast length documentary that we expect will reach a national audience.”

            Prior to the showing there will be introductory remarks from Tom Wagner, White Mountain National Forest Supervisor, Thad Guldbrandsen, Vice Provost for Research and Engagement at PSU, Catherine Amidon, Director of the Museum of the White Mountains at PSU, and film director David Huntley, from Moore/Huntley Productions.

            Film “The People’s Forest” to receive its inaugural screening July 16 at PSU

            July 4th, 2013 by Lynn

              COURTESY - John Wingate Weeks, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and native of Lancaster,Weeks led the battle to pass federal legislation to purchase and protect damaged and threatened eastern forests, including the White Mountains. Courtesy Collection of the Library of Congress.

              PLYMOUTH — A new documentary tells the compelling story of the beginning of America’s National Forests east of the Mississippi.

              And it all begins in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

              “The People’s Forest: The Story of the White Mountain National Forest” will premiere Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. in the Boyd Auditorium (Room 144) at Plymouth State University. The screening is free and open to the public.

              Produced by David Huntley and Moore Huntley productions, “The People’s Forest” looks at the mix of man-made disasters, colorful characters, citizen activism and political courage that brought about the protection of our National Forests through the Weeks Act of 1911.

              “While the dramatic chain of events depicted in the program took place well over a century ago” Huntley says, “the people involved and issues they confronted still crackle with unmistakable life and meaning.”

              For “The People’s Forest,” Huntley collaborated with Plymouth State University’s Center for Rural Partnerships and The Museum of the White Mountains. The program was made possible with the generous support of Plymouth State University and inspired by a shorter video produced for The Weeks Act Centennial Committee.

              The main character in “The People’s Forest” is Massachusetts Congressman John Wingate Weeks. Weeks, originally from Lancaster, had already enjoyed a successful career in finance and banking before his election to Congress in 1905.While he would have a 14-year career as a congressman and then senator, his lasting contribution is the Weeks Act of 1911, which allowed the federal government to purchase private land to protect watersheds and forests.

              As the film illustrates, events in New Hampshire’s North Country at the turn of the twentieth century had effects far beyond the White Mountains, including severe flooding in 1895 and 1896. These floods forced the closing of mills and other factories that depended on waterways like the Merrimack River for hydroelectric power. Thousands of people were out of work and many blamed the flooding on the impact of deforestation in the White Mountains. Citizens began to realize the connections among natural systems such as forests, watershed and rivers.

              Standing in the way of Weeks’ bill was a bitterly-divided Congress which had debated similar conservation legislation in previous sessions. What was new was an unlikely alliance of citizen groups, environmental activists, business leaders and members of the pulp and paper industry. The film shows the Weeks Act’s enduring impact on the landscape of New Hampshire and the United States. In the century since its passage, more than fifty-two national forests and grasslands in forty-one states – more than twenty million acres – are now protected.

              Filmmaker David Huntley specializes in productions in extreme and isolated environments, from the Arctic tundra to the jungles of Central America. He has produced, directed and written for PBS televisions series such as NOVA and Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, and specials and series for the History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic.

              “It’s been a unique pleasure to work with Plymouth State University on this video program,” he says. The University’s “diverse academic and archival resources have been invaluable to this production.”

              “This documentary of the Weeks Act is a remarkable piece of work,” noted Thad Guldbrandsen, Vice Provost for Research & Engagement at Plymouth State University. “We are fortunate to have worked with David Huntley, a world-class film maker with roots in the White Mountains. I think everyone is going be really pleased with the short video he produced for the Centennial of the Weeks Act, as well as this longer, broadcast length documentary that we expect will reach a national audience.”

               Prior to the showing there will be introductory remarks from Tom Wagner, White Mountain National Forest Supervisor, Thad Guldbrandsen, Vice Provost for Research and Engagement at PSU, Catherine Amidon, Director of the Museum of the White Mountains at PSU, and film director David Huntley, from Moore/Huntley Productions.

              “The People’s Forest” to receive its inaugural screening July 16 at Plymouth State University

              July 2nd, 2013 by Lynn

                Published Date Tuesday, 02 July 2013 01:07

                PLYMOUTH — “The People’s Forest: The Story of the White Mountain National Forest” will premiere Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. in the Boyd Auditorium (Room 144) at Plymouth State University. The screening is free and open to the public.

                Produced by David Huntley and Moore Huntley productions, “The People’s Forest” looks at the mix of man-made disasters, colorful characters, citizen activism and political courage that brought about the protection of our National Forests through the Weeks Act of 1911.

                “While the dramatic chain of events depicted in the program took place well over a century ago” Huntley says,” the people involved and issues they confronted still crackle with unmistakable life and meaning.”

                For “The People’s Forest,” Huntley collaborated with Plymouth State University’s Center for Rural Partnerships and The Museum of the White Mountains. The program was made possible with the generous support of Plymouth State University and inspired by a shorter video produced for The Weeks Act Centennial Committee.

                The main character in “The People’s Forest” is Massachusetts Congressman John Wingate Weeks. Weeks, originally from Lancaster, N.H., had already enjoyed a successful career in finance and banking before his election to Congress in 1905. While he would have a 14-year career as a congressman and then senator, his lasting contribution is the Weeks Act of 1911, which allowed the federal government to purchase private land to protect watersheds and forests.

                As the film illustrates, events in New Hampshire’s North Country at the turn of the twentieth century had effects far beyond the White Mountains, including severe flooding in 1895 and 1896. These floods forced the closing of mills and other factories that depended on waterways like the Merrimack River for hydroelectric power. Thousands of people were out of work and many blamed the flooding on the impact of deforestation in the White Mountains. Citizens began to realize the connections among natural systems such as forests, watershed and rivers.

                Standing in the way of Weeks’ bill was a bitterly-divided Congress which had debated similar conservation legislation in previous sessions. What was new was an unlikely alliance of citizen groups, environmental activists, business leaders and members of the pulp and paper industry. The film shows the Weeks Act’s enduring impact on the landscape of New Hampshire and the United States. In the century since its passage, more than fifty-two national forests and grasslands in forty-one states – more than twenty million acres – are now protected.

                Filmmaker David Huntley specializes in productions in extreme and isolated environments, from the Arctic tundra to the jungles of Central America. He has produced, directed and written for PBS televisions series such as NOVA and Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, and specials and series for the History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic.

                “This documentary of the Weeks Act is a remarkable piece of work,” noted Thad Guldbrandsen, Vice Provost for Research & Engagement at Plymouth State University. “We are fortunate to have worked with David Huntley, a world-class film maker with roots in the White Mountains. I think everyone is going be really pleased with the short video he produced for the Centennial of the Weeks Act, as well as this longer, broadcast length documentary that we expect will reach a national audience.”

                New museum opens door to White Mountains

                April 21st, 2013 by Michael

                  Exhibition on display at Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center March 28 through May 28

                  March 28th, 2013 by Heather

                    Exhibition on display at Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center March 28 through May 28

                    PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University’s Museum of the White Mountains, in collaboration with Mount Washington Observatory, presents “To the Extremes: The Geology of Adventure in the White Mountains” from March 28 through May 28 at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway.

                    Organized by the Museum of the White Mountains and curated by New Hampshirebased writer and science educator Sarah Garlick, the exhibition features 24 photographic and text panels that detail the connections between geological history and recreation in the White Mountains. An opening reception will be held at the Weather Discovery Center on Friday, March 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

                    “Our favorite hikes, climbs, and ski runs are tied to rich geologic histories, there are stories beneath our feet,” Garlick said. “I think we often view the mountains as an inert landscape — an environment that we explore and inhabit, a setting for our adventures. But the mountains have their own stories — how the different rock formations came to be, how the mountains have been sculpted through time, sometimes slowly, sometimes very fast, and how they continue to change today.”

                     

                    “To the Extremes” examines the science, art, culture and recreation of the White Mountains, with a special emphasis on mountain tourism and recreation. The exhibition is part of a larger educational project called “Beyond Granite: A History of Mountains and People,” which also includes online resources at plymouth.edu/museum-ofthe white-mountains, and an exhibition at the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth slated to open in March 2014.

                    “This is another way for the new Museum to learn how to best meet the needs of our growing audiences,” said Museum of the White Mountains Director Dr. Catherine Amidon. “Not only will people be able to see the touring exhibition in various sites and online, but they will be asked to share feedback online.”

                    The exhibition includes topics such as the connection of a geologic event such as a landslide and how that precipitates activities like hiking, downhill and backcountry skiing, modern day rock and ice climbing. It also explains the impact of climate change on the region, and the science behind the formation and eventual destruction of the Old Man of the Mountains.

                    “We talk a lot in New Hampshire about of our love of the White Mountains; if you’re a hiker, a skier, climber, this exhibition will take that passion and bring it to another level and explore why we have the mountains that we have,” said Garlick. “It allows people to take their love for the outdoors and explore them in a deeper way — to make those connections and have a deeper understanding of the mountains themselves.”

                    After the March 28 through May 28 display at the Weather Discovery Center, “To the Extremes” will appear as a traveling exhibit around New Hampshire as an outreach project of the Museum of the White Mountains.

                    To learn more about the project, visit plymouth.edu/museum of-the-white-mountains.

                    Inaugural exhibit is up at PSU’s Museum of the White Mountains

                    February 28th, 2013 by Michael

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