Monday, May 23, 2011

SPNHF Moose Mountains Land Steward

MMR Trailhead Sign
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)
Scott and I just finished taking a two day SPNHF core training coarse to be land stewards of the very large Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton and Brookfield, NH! Comprising of 2,325 acres and three mountain ranges Moose Mountains Reservation is one of the largest non-developed forests in Southern New Hampshire! It is a crucial tract of land, harboring important headwaters of the Salmon Falls River.  For directions to MMR see my trip report HERE.

Phoebes Nable Spur Trail
The forests and hills contain a host of native wildlife such as black bear, moose and a heron rookery. Hiking, bird watching, hunting, snowmobiling and other low impact outdoor recreation can be enjoyed on the property. With more than 8 miles of woods roads and foot paths, several ponds and marshes, open summit peaks and ledges, early 1800's cemeteries an farmland there is plenty to explore! The Forest Society will work to retain public use for recreation and to protect the properties water shed and natural resources including sustainable forestry or harvesting.

Since the term harvesting and the sheer thought or even sight of logging makes you quiver, as it did us. It is important to understand what SUSTAINABLE Forestry is! It is defined as such: "The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems." Thus our States economic value in it's vast and lush forests are an important piece of our way of life, as is the pride we have of our natural and untouched woods, mountains and ponds. These aspects are all kept in balance for the future generations to benefit and enjoy from! You can learn more by joining the Forest Society on a tour of an active timber harvest. Meet logging contractors and Consulting Foresters; learn about sustainable forest management in relation to improving timber quality, wildlife habitat, and recreation; and get the latest news about logging practices, equipment, wood products, and the timber markets where products are shipped and sold. Check there field trip page for these tours.

Phoebes Nable Summit
Where do we come into play? It is our job as volunteer land stewards to be the caretakers and ambassadors of this forest. Our responsibilities are numerous from picking up trash, monitoring property lines, marking/building/maintaining hiking trails, watching for illegal uses, assisting in sustainable tree harvesting and speaking to land abuttors. Trails on this property are in need of signs and marking and that will be our main focus over the next two years as we explore the vast forest ourselves, learning the features and finding the best suitable paths to those features. We look forward to be able to care for such a large tract of land so close to home! While sustainable tree harvesting is an important part of these forests for our economy and the future, it is our primary goal to retain and improve the recreational, scenic and natural benefits of this Reservation. These aspects of SPNHF land are all weighed in harmony as necessary parts on a balanced scale.

New Portsmouth Road Trail
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests "envisions a living landscape where managed woodlands, farms and wild lands are woven into the fabric of community life. We envision people caring for lands that sustain dynamic communities with clean water and air, forest and agricultural products, habitat for native plants and animals, scenic beauty, good jobs, and recreational opportunities."

Check the SPNHF Blog for a post on the 2011 Land Steward Class!

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