The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites, including those in the White Mountain National Forest, over the Veterans Day holiday weekend. Forest fees have been waived from Saturday through Monday. Fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations, and concession activities.
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is applauding a deal reached by Senate leadership to raise the debt ceiling and bring an end to the partial government shutdown.
Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, Ayotte, a Republican, says the shutdown went on far too long.
“And that’s why I’m glad we got out of our trenches, that we’re resolving this, that we are moving on. And I’m hoping that we can solve the greater fiscal challenges facing the nation by coming together.”
The operator of twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest has been told to close them.
“We are directed now to close the gates as of Thursday the 10th unless something happens in Congress,” said Kent Tower, the owner of Pro Sports of Campton.
Last week federal officials in Washington began notifying private businesses that operate campgrounds in national forests that they would have to close even though they provide water, sanitation and other services without help from federal employees.
Campsites throughout the Sugarloaf I and II campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest were reserved by campers hoping to enjoy the foliage. But the sites will soon be closed, a federal official says. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR
The shutdown of the federal government is expanding to include privately run campgrounds in national forests across the country, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said late Thursday.
“We are in the process of shutting these operations down at facilities across the country due to the lapse in funding,” wrote spokesman Leo Kay in an e-mail. “Some closures have already taken place while others are still in progress.”
That is expected to include twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest operated by Pro Sports Inc. of Campton.
“The People’s Forest” a new film about the White Mountain National Forest by filmmaker David Huntley premieres next Tuesday. The 48 minute documentary examines a dramatic period in the life of New Hampshire’s great woods from 1860 to 1910 and shows how the human forces that conspired to nearly destroy the land came together again to save it. Sean Hurley spoke with the filmmaker and has this story.
It was a year ago at the end of this month that Tropical Storm Irene hit New Hampshire and when it comes to the White Mountain National Forest there are still plenty of unwelcome reminders.
Sound of ground-to-helicopter communications…
That’s Erin Lane and she’s making arrangements for a helicopter to make a sweeping turn and then hover over a clearing about two miles up the Zealand Trail in a part of Bethlehem that is within the White Mountain National Forest.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are known for their fierce terrain and wild weather. But atop the high peaks, there are some comforts.
Since 1888, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high huts have provided hearty meals and a warm bunk for guests. Staff at the eight facilities carry up supplies, and also serve as educators and stewards of the alpine terrain.
To get a better feel for this unique summer job, we sent NHPR’s Todd Bookman up to the Greenleaf Hut.
Tropical Storm Irene’s heavy rains did more serious damage to trails in the White Mountains than any storm in decades, says one of the authors of the new 29th edition of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide.
“It was only a limited number of trails, but the ones that were damaged were damaged very badly,” said editor Steven Smith of Lincoln. “It was mainly restricted to the trails that run along streams.”
The White Mountain National Forest will be getting $4 million in federal funds to repair road and bridge damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. But that will still leave the enormous recreational area well short of what it needs, an official said.
It is still a bit of good news for the economy of the North Country.
Some of the work will be done by WMNF crews but help from outside contractors will be needed, said Tiffany Benna, a spokeswoman for the WMNF.
The money is available from the Federal Highway Administration, said spokesman Doug Hecox.