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.

Like many professions, forestry has developed over time its own specific vocabulary. Even forest management has a fancy name—silviculture—that doesn’t have anything to do with mining for precious metals.

There’s a great debate going on these days, in and out of the woods, over biomass. When it comes to the forest, biomass typically refers to wood harvested in the form of chips that are then burned, either to generate renewable electricity, or heat.

It’s not easy being a logger. Members of the public love to hate you for making what looks like a mess. Prices at the mill never seem to be good, the cost of fuel keeps going up, and the capital investment in the right equipment is substantial.

Certified Tree Farmer P.J. O’Rourke wrote an entertaining piece in the Wall Street Journal recently in which he attempts to explain why he owns land in New Hampshire. He concluded by noting , “ I can’t give up my estate….I’ve formed an inviolate bond with the land.

On the eve of the first measurable December snowfall, a time of thin ice and rattling beech leaves, I joined three colleagues on a rugged bushwhack to a remote corner of a Society-owned forest reservation. It's not often that the conservation business is as tangible as it was that early winter …

Hiking through 75 years of Forest Notes magazine archives reveals not-so-subtle cultural shifts that accompanied demographic changes and the afforestation in New Hampshire.

Over the past 75 years we lost scenic open vistas from hillside farms with pastures once devoid of trees. …

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 …