An interesting article in the Brattleboro Reformer last week highlighted some of issues surrounding a state management plan for the Pisgah State Park in the southwestern corner of New Hampshire.

The park is the largest of the New Hampshire state parks, over 35,000 acres of nearly untouched forest. I’ve hiked, cross-country ski’d, and snowshoed there on several occasions. Local volunteer groups help maintain the trails. They raised money to build a visitor center, and they run programs there.

Under the proposed plan, the visitor center would be closed to the public, and turned into a ranger station for a seasonal ranger. Parts of it would opened to mountain biking and ATVs.

I think this would permanently alter the landscape of the park. The quiet trails would be transformed into thoroughfares. Even if only certain areas are designated for these uses, what safeguards would there be that these people would respect those boundaries? There are plenty of examples of the careless destruction they cause in the search for a good time. The beauty of the landscape, the enjoyment of the forest mean nothing to them.

There is a public comment period – until Aug. 5. Read the Reformer article, and make your opinions known.

The address is the following: Pisgah State Park Management Plan, to director, N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, P.O. Box 1856, Concord, N.H. 03302-1856, or e-mail comments to

Friends of Pisgah will also host a story circle on Tuesday, Aug. 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Hinsdale Community Center for locals to share their memories and hopes about the park’s future.