Sawyer Pond and many locations in the White Mountain National Forest, is named after the people who lived and worked in the forest harvesting timber. Logging used to be a massive industry here. And the Forest is still logged today, but with best practices for sustainability in mind and tight controls in place, not like back in the old days. No more massive clear cuts. Logging is no longer the destructive practice it used to be.
Today’s Forest problem is overcrowding and overuse of our resources, now mostly used for recreation. It’s a different kind of impact today, worse than ever, and harder to manage as well, the human herd no longer denudes our land, but they do trample it to death. Give people a pathway or a space nowadays and they will use the hell out of it, eventually destroying everything within and along the fringes of said pathway or space.
Sawyer Pond, accessed via Sawyer River Road, is one of those wonderful places that draw people in by the dozens. These people wander the woods, looking for firewood, making off-trail connections with other sites, and just generally impacting the forest floor. Some of these spaces can be roped off — and they are — and some spaces can be filled in with copious amounts of deadwood — but it turns into firewood so it doesn’t remain an effective deterrent. But in either case, people will come in and use the space anyway, unconcerned with its future. Either they don’t know or don’t care. Measures taken to protect these overused spaces from these types unfortunately lack effectiveness. What is effective, we’ve learned, is to re-plant these areas with lots of new trees using transplants from the surrounding forest, literally closing those impacted spaces.
Transplanting these trees was the main objective of this years 6th Annual Trails Day. The video below will highlight some of the work we did, which also included some “brushing out” widening an existing trail and better facilitate the limitation of off-trail, herd-path-making hijinx and shenanigans.
Over 40 people attended — that’s right, not a misprint — and while we don’t have an exact count, we easily transplanted well over 100 small fir trees. To anyone who has ever tried to dig in a hole in NH’s rocky and rooty soils will understand just how much effort is required to do so. In other words, the amazing volunteers who came to this event worked really hard. Sure, it was fun, and it was rewarding, and we can come back and see the results of our work for years to come, but it was indeed work. Work for which, we want to extend our heart-felt thanks. Thanks for your support, thanks for showing up, thanks for doing what you do. Such a fun and amazing group!
Video Re-Cap of our 2023 Event:
Thanks Again to the Organizations that Helped Make this Date Possible:
- NH Trailworkers’ Group »
- White Mountain Endurance »
- Tuckerman Brewing Company »
- US Forest Service »
- Redline Guiding LLC »
Who Else Needs Your Help? Check Out These Trail Maintenance Organizations:
- Chatham Trails Club (CTC) »
- Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) »
- Waterville Valley Athletic & Improvement Association (WVAIA) »
- The Cohos Trail Association (CTA) »
- The Friends of the Wapack »
- AMC – New Hampshire Chapter »
- Wonalancet Outdoor Club (WODC) »
- Belknap Range Trail Tenders (BRATTS) »
- Lakes Region Conservation Trust »
- Chocorua Lake Conservancy »
- Squam Lakes Association »
- Sub Sig Outing Club »
- Trailwrights »
- Cardigan Highlanders »