Growing Greener: Learning about the White Mountains

26, Feb, 2013 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

The White Mountains National Forest (WMNF) is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year; and, for the past three years Green & Grow has visited the mountains over February vacation week.

Again this year we were introduced to the forest by National Forest Service Professionals when we met with Sheela; a Hydrologist, Roger; a Forestry Contract Specialist, and Leighlan; a Wildlife Biologist.

Zuri, taking a water sample to test for pH and conductivity.

Zuri, taking a water sample to test for pH and conductivity.  Sheela, the Hydrologist in orange.

Roger, telling us more about tree rings.

Roger, right, telling us more about tree rings.

We even had the opportunity to visit an active forest management work site.  Roger and Sheela introduced us to how the WMNF manages the various forest resources including: wildlife, timber, water, and soils.  Some interesting things we learned from Sheela and Roger were: timber harvesting only takes place in the winter when the ground is frozen to decrease the damage the heavy equipment can have on the soil, the shrubby ecosystem that’s created by harvesting timber attracts Snowshoe Hair which Canadian Lynx like to hunt, and by opening up the forest cross country skiers will have an extraordinary view of the Presidential range.

In addition to providing revenue for the forest, the forest management project we visited created new habitat for wildlife and a great view for cross-country skiers.

Leighlan, a wildlife biologist then visited with us to talk about White Nose Syndrome, a fungal infection that affects hibernating bat species.   The equipment Waverly  is holding below is used to sense bat activity in the air above so that professionals can monitor bat populations.

waverly, bat noises small

Waverly, testing the bat detecting equipment.

Special thanks to the White Mountains National Forest for hosting us, the  AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program for lending us winter weather gear, and the Highland Center for their wonderful hospitality!  We already can’t wait to visit the forest again next year!