Featured Forest

Hersey Mountain Community Forest

Dec. 12, 2017
NEFF foresters visit the Harvard Forest campus

Nestled between the Pemigewasset River and the towns of New Hampton and Sanbornton, NH, Hersey Mountain’s 3,256 acres of forestland are a mecca for wildlife, and its network of trails is a haven for hikers and naturalists alike.

In June 2007, the Northeast Wilderness Trust (NWT) and New England Forestry Foundation established a conservation easement that marked the completion of a decades-long endeavor to piece together what is now NEFF’s largest community forest—Hersey Mountain.

A rigorous ecological survey completed in 2003 by Rick Van de Poll, Ph.D., found more than 20 natural communities and 42 vernal pools on Hersey Mountain. Including 68 acres of old growth forest and 513 acres of Significant Ecological Areas, this diverse habitat supports an incredible array of wildlife: 13 species of amphibians, five species of reptiles, five species of fish, 31 species of mammals, 105 species of birds, and 126 taxa of insects.

With these unique characteristics of the forestland in mind, NEFF worked with NWT and Sweetwater Trust to designate roughly 1,100 acres of Hersey Mountain as a working forest, and 2,100 acres as the Hersey Mountain Wilderness. This diverse management plan would protect and conserve the forest for future generations.

NEFF built on this management plan by completing its first-ever carbon project in February 2016, when forest carbon offset developer Finite Carbon registered carbon offsets on Hersey Mountain Wilderness.

Individuals and companies can purchase offsets to compensate for activities that release carbon dioxide. The offsets recognize the climate benefits that trees and forests provide by capturing and storing carbon and thus reducing greenhouse gases.

“Part of our mission is to provide tools and resources for landowners throughout New England,” explains Bob Perschel, NEFF’s Executive Director. “Now that we’ve gone through the process of setting up carbon offsets, NEFF is better equipped to help landowners and land trusts incorporate this new revenue stream within their own management plans.”

Just as working forests can provide a financial motivation to keep land forested, carbon offsets provide a similar incentive by helping relieve the financial burden of owning land. And at Hersey Mountain, carbon credits are a perfect complement to the wilderness area.

Visit Hersey Mountain

Visiting NEFF Community Forests like Hersey Mountain has never been easier. With our online interactive map of NEFF Community Forests, you can navigate right to the trailhead. Go to our Trail Maps page, and either search for a specific forest or start exploring for a new place to visit. See you on the trail!

Writing by Charlie Reinertsen, photo by Kari Post.