On Thursday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the Loon Center in Moultonborough, the Lakes Region Chapter of the New Hampshire Audubon Society will present a program on White Mountain Forest Fires, presented by David Govatski.
Forest fires in the White Mountains are not common, but occur under the right conditions, and are often difficult to suppress. In 1903, over 85,000 acres of the White Mountain region burned in an outbreak of multiple fires in logging slash and cut-over mountainsides. Entire communities were threatened, and the lack of organized suppression effort led to growing calls for forest protection and conservation. This led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest.
This program will look at historic fires from the 1800’s and early 1900’s, and more recent forest fires such as the Lucy Brook, Covered Bridge, and Dilly Forest Fires. Included are early leadership efforts by the NH Timberland Owners Association and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, along with the business community; and the cooperative role of local, state and federal agencies after the passage of the Weeks Act in 1911 to work together on the forest fire menace.
Also considered are the effects of forest fires in the ecosystem, prescribed burning, fire prevention and detection, fire weather, and more complex issues such as adequate funding at the national level to manage forest fires under a changing climate.
David Govatski is a naturalist and author. He retired after working for the US Forest Service for over 30 years. He served as a fire management officer, was on a national interagency incident management team for eight years, and worked on numerous large forest fires including the 1988 Yellowstone fires. He has also worked on numerous prescribed fires in his career.
The Loon Center is located on Lee’s Mill Road; follow the signs on Blake Road from Route 25 near the Moultonborough Central School, or from Rte. 109 turn on to Lee Road and turn left on Lee’s Mill Road. Refreshments will be served.