Campton, NH (May 14, 2018) – The White Mountain National Forest is turning 100 this year and wants to invite you to the party. This defining moment offers an opportunity to reflect on the Forest’s successes and prepare for a new century of stewardship and engagement. Throughout the year the Forest will asking the public to help reflect on the past, build a vision for the next century, and engage through partnering or volunteering.
100 years ago the White Mountains were largely a denuded cutover landscape marked by eroding hillsides. Streams were blackened by silt and ash from widespread fires sparked in expansive logging slash. The passage of the Weeks Act in 1911 called for the protection of headwater streams. On May 16, 1918 President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 1449 creating the White Mountain National Forest in Maine and New Hampshire.
Today the Forest is nearly 800,000 acres and attracts several million visitors who hike, camp, climb and ski on their public land each year. The White Mountain National Forest has become a major part of the economic engine of New Hampshire contributing to the nearly 9 billion dollar statewide outdoor recreation industry that supports almost 80,000 jobs.
“The centennial year is a reminder to look back on where we’ve come while we prepare for the next 100 years with our partners and volunteers,” said Forest Supervisor Clare Mendelsohn. “We still have work to do to ensure this land is protected for future generations, and now, more than ever, we need you to join us.”
The Forest Service is proud to partner with the Museum of the White Mountains hosting a special exhibit, “The People’s Forest: A Centennial Celebration of the White Mountain National Forest.” The exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 5 p.m. and runs until September 12th.
Whether you are a regular visitor, local community member, volunteer or partner, the White Mountain National Forest hopes the centennial will inspire you to connect with the land known as “the people’s forest.” The centennial year will feature a variety of events throughout 2018 aimed at engaging the public. For more information follow the White Mountain National Forest on Facebook and Twitter or visit our centennial page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd579849.html.
The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.