Please Use Our Picture Posts!

Citizen Science Project Aims to Document Environmental Change

The Forest Society has recently installed Picture Posts on some of our Forest Reservations.  You’re probably now wondering what on earth a “Picture Post” is.  Well, it IS a post where you take pictures, but not dramatic selfies or group shots- these posts are strategically located to allow the public to help us document environmental change in an area.  Every Picture Post has an octagonal top where you can line your camera or smartphone up against each of the sides and take 360 degrees of images.  The photos can then be uploaded to the Picture Post Website, run by the University of New Hampshire, where all images are made available for anyone to view and/or download.  

Evidence of hemlock woolly adelgid infestation on hemlock

Our new Picture Post project is being funded by a generous grant from the Getz Charitable Trust, Citizens Bank NA, Trustee.

Picture Posts are a great way to crowdsource documentation of any type of environmental change- recreational use changes, shoreline erosion, beaver activity, fluctuating lake levels, crop growth, to name just a few- but our Picture Posts are tied to the Forest Society’s interest in forest health and management.  We have installed several posts in areas where we have known infestations of exotic invasive forest pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Concord or Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) at Monson Village in Milford.  In these areas, we expect that infected trees will decline and eventually die, leaving a void in the forest ecosystem that will be filled by alternate species.  Change in forest composition generally takes many decades, but in these cases the timeframe should be dramatically shortened.  The Picture Posts will help us document how quickly the invasive pests are killing target trees, and give us a better idea of what future forests in New Hampshire might look like as the pests spread.

Scientists from NH Department of Resources & Economic Development study ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer.

We’ll also be installing Picture Posts on Forest Reservations where we have held recent timber harvests.  These posts will help us create a visual record of changes in the forest in areas that are actively managed by the Forest Society, and will be invaluable in explaining sustainable forestry practices to our members and to the public.  If, for example, our sivicultural objective on one forest is to create an area of early successional shrubs and trees for wildlife via a patch cut, the Picture Post photos can create a photographic record of this progression that is useful for management planning as well as educational purposes. 

Picture Posts will help document the success of silvicultural practices such as this oak shelterwood cut at Weeks Woods in Gilford

We are very excited about the Picture Post initiative on Forest Society Reservations, but they only work as long as volunteers from the public are willing to take photo sets over time, so we hope you will get out there and find them!  For a list of Forest Reservations with Picture Posts, see below.  Each link will take you to the Forest Reservations Guide page for that property, where you can find driving directions as well as a trail map indicating the Picture Post locations.