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NH’s Sustainable Forestry
It’s one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and for good reason. Everyone has someone to honor for Mother’s Day. We do it with flowers. We do it with cards. We take extra special care to tell the leading ladies in our lives that we appreciate them. It seems appropriate that we include Mother Nature in this mix.
Caring for our planet has become a global movement. It includes good stewardship practices such as reducing our energy footprint and creating less waste, using renewable energy, monitoring our consumption of water, fuel, and electricity, and participating in environmental initiatives like sustainable forestry practices and land conservation.
Sustainable forestry is practiced around the globe, but the tiny eastern state of New Hampshire deserves a shout-out for showing their love across 5.7 million acres of forested land — nearly 80% of the state. Here are the top five ways NH benefits Mother Nature by practicing sustainable forestry:
Sustainable forestry preserves the natural landscape.
Look at the map and New Hampshire is easy to miss. It’s almost the smallest state in the United States yet boasts some of the most beautiful land on the East Coast. From sandy lakes and ocean beaches, lush green New England uplands, and the rough terrain of the White Mountains, New Hampshire is characterized by it’s heavily forested hills. Hills covered with tall pines and peppered with a mix of deciduous species protected by the genius of sustainable forestry. The careful management of trees harvested and trees planted keeps these forests balanced and ecosystems healthy, just as Mother Nature intended.
Protect the Wild
Sustainable forestry protects wildlife.
The caretaking doesn’t stop with trees. Keeping the hills covered with a variety of trees also provides secure homes for the animals that reside in the White Mountains and surrounding area. While they typically keep to themselves, it wouldn’t be unusual to find traces of black bear, coyote, moose or red fox on the outskirts of town. Porcupines, river otters and New England Cottontails have the run of the land and nesting songbirds boast the greatest diversity in the country.
Tour de Forest
Sustainable forestry produces economic growth through tourism.
Who doesn’t want to experience the beauty of New Hampshire? Take a drive through the narrow 2-lane highways and heavily wooded hills and you’ll feel like you’re in a movie! Sweet small towns are nestled in the valleys and around lowland attractions like Lake Winnipesaukee — a popular vacation destination for tourists and seasonal residents alike. The protected forests and state parks make the perfect backdrop for hiking, biking, and paddling, and Mount Washington calls the brave to check out a view from the highest point east of the Mississippi.
Sustainable forestry produces quality wood and paper products.
Besides tourism, economic growth is due in part to corporately owned land forested for paper and wood products. It’s no coincidence that the world’s finest wide plank flooring is made in the heart of the state by Carlisle. Saplings start in the hands of timber growers, are carefully selected and harvested by sawyers, and crafted with pride and excellence into works of art, becoming the foundation for life in homes and properties around the globe. This cycle is a story in itself, and one that carries a rich legacy of forest stewardship.
Sustainable forestry plans for tomorrow.
Sustainable forests were not always found in New Hampshire. In fact, most of the forests blanketing the state are less than 200 years old. When early settlers arrived it was assumed there would be an endless supply of trees, so they cleared the land, built colonial homes, and planted crops. By 1900 over 70% of the land south of the White Mountains had been cleared for farming and the northern forests were largely depleted due to careless harvesting and resulting wildfires. Although New Hampshire soil was ideal for forests, it was poor farmland — rocky and unforgiving — and as farmers moved south and west, the terrain was able to recover and grow into the forested area it is today.
New Hampshire is now known for producing some of the finest timber in the country. And businesses like Carlisle — those that depend on healthy forests for their high-quality natural resources — provide outstanding stewardship to the region by making sure to model and use sustainable manufacturing practices each and every day. These practices guarantee that NH forests will be with us for future generations.
There are many ways to honor Mother Nature. Sustainable forestry is just one. Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to express our appreciation for all mom’s, and its a chance to reflect on the fact that there are many businesses and individuals demonstrating respect for our natural resources and helping our number one mom, Mother Nature, thrive every day of the year.
Here’s to New Hampshire and those who keep our forests healthy and strong.
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