(Durham, N.H., October 29, 2018) Home to 800,000 acres, spanning two states with over 1,200 miles of hiking trails, The White Mountain National Forest has been a part of our New England fabric for 100 years, but how did it become the great park that it is today?
To commemorate the White Mountain's 100th anniversary, and to learn more about its inception, Willem Lange, host of WINDOWS TO THE WILD, hikes up Middle Sugarloaf Mountain with former Ranger Rebecca Oreskes. Rebecca and Willem take in the beauty of the surrounding forest, while Rebecca shares her knowledge of the history and significance of the White Mountains.
"It all started with the Week's Act in 1911. At that time the White Mountains were being clear-cut and deforested very unsustainably. It took a consortium of concerned organizations, like the Appalachian Mountain Club and The Protection of NH Forests to pressure congress."
Out of that pressure, Rebecca explained, the National Forest, often referred to as the “Peoples Forest”, was established in 1918. “The people wanted the Federal Govt to come in and protect this land.”
This breathtaking landscape has now healed and provides a testament to the value of preservation and public policy generations can take pride in. The White Mountains National Forest is now enjoyed by more than 6 million people a year placing it among the country’s leaders in annual visitors
Rebecca has spent her career witnessing the “Tremendous shared passion around these mountains and the people who’ve devoted their lives to them”. She observes, “I just think that commitment to conservation is an amazing thing and something we should all be proud of".
To hear more of Rebecca and Willem's conversation about the White Mountain National Forest’s 100th anniversary, be sure to tune in to WINDOWS TO THE WILD, Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30pm on NHPBS or online at nhpbs.org/windows.
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