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100th Anniversary of the Weeks Act Including The White Mountain National Forest

Fall Foliage Along 112 ner Kancamagus Highway

Fall Foliage Along Route 112 Near The Kancamagus Highway

A hundred years ago, the White Mountains region in New Hampshire was a different sight.  Hundreds of photographs and articles depict a region of mountain sides stripped of trees, streams choked with silt from eroding hillsides and ash from forest fires falling on nearby towns.  There used to be whole towns, hundreds of mills, dozens of mines, quarries, charcoal and lime kilns and much, much more.  Today’s visitors to the White Mountain region see acres and acres of healthy green forest because of the enactment of the 1911 Weeks Act which enabled the acquisition of over 19 million acres in 124 national forests, spanning 42 states and including the New Hampshire White Mountain National Forest.  In many ways, New Hampshire considers the Weeks Act as “our” National Forest law because the White Mountain National Forest was the first of the eastern National Forest Reserves.  Where would we be without the scenic views of Pinkham Notch, Franconia Notch, The Basin and the Kancamagus Highway?  According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, almost 51% of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes through lands administered by the United States Agriculture Service.  Of those lands, the Weeks Act had a major impact on the 2,000-plus mile trail seen as a national treasure.  A short 25 minute drive from Breakfast on the Connecticut will get you to the White Mountain National Forest.  Once there, you will travel slowly as the next turn always has another spectacular view.  Log on to www.weekslegacy.org to look at all the activities that are planned to celebrate this milestone.

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