Working Forests

The Forest Society's mission includes perpetuating New Hampshire's forests through their 'wise use', or sustainable forestry. Working forests--those managed to provide a renewable wood resource--are more likely to remain as forests rather than being lost to development. Visit this page to explore stories and projects related to working forests.

It appears we still don’t always see the forest for the trees.

Most people were duped by a flurry of media attention last summer erroneously reporting that New Hampshire surpassed Maine for having the highest percentage of state land area classified as “forest” in the nation. As …

By mid-summer, I noticed a faint yellow tinge to the foliage of aged local sugar maples lining our dirt road. I despaired at the possibility of some decline in their health. With more than ample rainfall, how could the maple foliage not be lush, deep green?

Closer inspection revealed …

"May something go always unharvested! May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left, So smelling their sweetness would be no theft."

Robert Frost, 1936

My Christmas tree plantation is now a faded field of dreams. Five hundred balsams, row upon …

The afternoon sunset glows pink, reflecting off my windowpanes at 3:45. Against the lethargy of the approaching winter night, I trudge uphill into the gathering gloom, carrying a sack of wood shavings, a folding chair, a steel can of diesel fuel, and a box of wooden safety matches in my pocket. …

A boyhood discovery turns out to be the gift of a lifetime

The unmistakable scent of balsam was exotic to me when I was a boy, growing up on a street planted with ornamental hardwood trees in the crowded suburbs of northern New Jersey. The “Christmas tree smell” represented a …

The Forest Society owns and manages more than 55,000 acres of land in more than 100 New Hampshire municipalities (see our Reservations Guide).  We advocate for the “wise use” of forestry resources, and work with state and federal leaders and private landowners to assure that laws governing forestry and land use also promote wise use of forest resources.   

In August, NH towns celebrate "Old Home Days." Forest Society founders, Frank Rollins and Nahum Batchelder conceived "Old Home Week” in 1899. It was designed to lure wealth back to NH to revitalize depressed rural economies and bring abandoned farms back onto tax rolls.

Ancient tree-worshipers – Druids - believed mistletoe possessed magical powers because it grows high in bare oaks, shedding lush green leaves even in midwinter. Druids harvested mistletoe to hang in households to promote fertility.

Maple time in New England brings out the essence of the trees and the character in the people. For those who love trees, a tongue-tip taste of fresh maple syrup is a sacrament, maple communion at the end of a long winter.