The Forest Service (FS) recently announced a draft decision to remove an unsafe log bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River in the Pemigewasset Wilderness in New Hampshire. In keeping with the spirit of the Wilderness Act, the FS stated in the decision that visitors must “meet nature on its terms.” The 46,000-acre Pemigewasset, known for its beautiful peaks, forests, and vistas, is the largest Wilderness in the state.
The Forest Service has faced pressure to replace this bridge rather than remove it, but comments from wilderness supporters like you led the FS to propose the right decision for Wilderness.
The agency proposes to dismantle the Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge using primitive hand tools, and to leave the concrete abutments to decompose over time. However, the FS wants to retain the option for up to two helicopter trips to remove large material. Wilderness Watch has urged the agency to instead use stock animals, dog sleds, or other nonmotorized means. This would follow in the tradition of rewilding the area while protecting the area’s wilderness character—several years ago, the Forest Service removed another unsafe suspension bridge in this same Wilderness without motorized equipment.
Please thank the Forest Service and to encourage the agency to issue a good final decision that removes the bridge using traditional skills and tools rather than helicopters or any other motorized or mechanized equipment or tools.
Re-wild the Pemigewasset Wilderness by removing the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge without helicopters, chainsaws, or other motors.
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