Pemigewasset Wilderness Erin Paul Donovan

The Forest Service (FS) recently announced its final 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 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 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 has retained the option for up to two helicopter trips to remove large material, despite Wilderness Watch urging the agency to instead use stock animals, dog sleds, or other nonmotorized means.

Several years ago, Wilderness Watch supported the FS in removing a suspension bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, which was dismantled and packed out without motorized equipment. This latest project continues the tradition of restoring the Pemigewasset Wilderness by removing unnecessary human-built structures, and doing so without motorized tools or transportation would uphold the intent of the Wilderness Act and protect the wild condition of the Wilderness. 

Read our comments on the EA


Photo: ScenicNH Photography LLC

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