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.

Charley Hosmer shuffles out of his sugarhouse as I approach. He squints in curiosity and then relaxes in recognition. He ducks inside to check the boiling maple sap and I follow him. "How's it running?" I ask.

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.

On the first warm April afternoon, Colby-Sawyer College students gathered maple sap from buckets and fed wood into the fire roaring beneath boiling sap pans in the college’s maple sugarhouse.

Maple syrup—the making and the marketing of it—is at once as simple as can be and surprisingly complicated.

WHEN Europeans began colonizing New England centuries ago, no sooner had they set foot on shore than they began re-creating the villages they knew from home across the sea.

In New Hampshire, forests cover 4.8 million acres. That's 84 percent of the state, as anyone who has flown over it can attest. Northern hardwoods - beech, birch and maple - make up more than 53 percent of statewide forest cover.