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sierra
09-21-2015, 04:36 PM
Yesterday, upon summiting Mt.Tecumseh. I noticed the Forest service had installed a wooden Kyosk on a tree. I failed to get a pic. but it's purpose is to find info. on the clearing of the view. It also stated that cutting of tree's in the Forest could result in a 5000 dollar fine. I'm up there once in awhile and I just noticed this, I think it just went up. Anywho, they seem a little mad still. :eek:

egilbe
09-21-2015, 04:49 PM
You mean some random person went up and cut trees down from the summit to get a better view? That seems kinda whacked

rocket21
09-21-2015, 05:04 PM
Perhaps the most significant view clearing occurred during the winter of 2012-13. The view clearing appeared to taper when the vista matched the description of the 1992 (25th Edition) White Mountain Guide.

New cutting has been noted more recently, but interestingly the cuts haven't contributed to the view.

DayTrip
09-21-2015, 06:39 PM
There's a guy on Facebook (whose name I of course can't remember) who has been documenting this in great detail for three years with monthly photo updates. I'm sure if you search it will pull it up. Pretty amazing the extent of the clearing and how it could possibly be done on such a busy summit.

Becca M
09-21-2015, 06:52 PM
Hmmm, on a peak with a ski area with great SWATHS of clearcuts (aka "ski trails"), a large area of satellite/radio towers, etc., it seems kinda silly to get so upset about clearing for hiker views. Perhaps the $ spent on kiosk(s) and signs could be better spent? (I haven't seen the actual signs or recent cuttings as I haven't been there since maybe winter)

TDawg
09-21-2015, 06:59 PM
There's a guy on Facebook (whose name I of course can't remember) who has been documenting this in great detail for three years with monthly photo updates. I'm sure if you search it will pull it up. Pretty amazing the extent of the clearing and how it could possibly be done on such a busy summit. http://www.scenicnh.com/blog/2013/08/mt-tecumseh-summit/ I noticed the cutting my last non winter visit spring of 2012, not a great look. While I don't really care for human enhanced viewpoints, I sure don't hate them!

Driver8
09-21-2015, 09:19 PM
It's gotta be somebody who has easy access and is up there a lot. What are the classic crime/mystery-solver elements? Motive, opportunity and the means to do it? Probably could be narrowed down with a little deductive thinking.

peakbagger
09-22-2015, 06:28 AM
I guess I am not that upset by opening up a view. The FS used to clear designated viewpoints in the WMNF. These have been effectively abandoned not due to direct management decision as much as lack of resources. Tecumseh is not in a designated wilderness area and therefore can be managed for multiple use including recreational enhancement. To me the impact of clearing a view on a summit is not more or less the impact of clearing and maintaining the trails to that summit. I agree that the actual cutting looks ugly up close but a blowdown patch also looks ugly. Of course one question that hasn't come up is if this was a historical view that had been kept cleared at one point that had grown in due to lack of maintenance?. Starr King had a long term historical view that at one point ceased to be maintained, it slowly grew in to the point where it was a viewless summit. When the view was reestablished there were many ugly stumps that would have not been there had it been maintained all along. The slide show to me is not a great reference as its taken from slightly different locations and angles. I do see an initial flurry of clearing but its not clear to me how much it has been expanded. If the view wasn't there would the photographer continue making trips on a monthly basis to the summit?

The question to me is does this patch alter an already impacted summit? Will wildlife be affected by the clearing anymore so than the constant stream of hikers? If you look at summits with natural disturbances like Tom which earlier in my hiking career had zero view or Cabot which has gained a semblance of view to the west due to blowdowns is there that much of a difference between a random natural occurrence and a manmade one? One of the management tools for forestry are patch cuts which are random openings in the forest generally caused by blowdowns or lighting strikes that allow edge habitat to be established. Will this clearing actually improve habitat diversity on this summit given the endless stream of people visiting it?

Stan
09-22-2015, 09:16 AM
The question to me is does this patch alter an already impacted summit? Will wildlife be affected by the clearing anymore so than the constant stream of hikers? If you look at summits with natural disturbances like Tom which earlier in my hiking career had zero view or Cabot which has gained a semblance of view to the west due to blowdowns is there that much of a difference between a random natural occurrence and a manmade one? One of the management tools for forestry are patch cuts which are random openings in the forest generally caused by blowdowns or lighting strikes that allow edge habitat to be established. Will this clearing actually improve habitat diversity on this summit given the endless stream of people visiting it?
Often, clearings will provide brouse that won't grow well under dense foilage and this will attract wildlife, most notably ungulates which are stressed in some areas of northern New England. Wildlife management areas and other landowners frequently provide such clearings to enhance conditions for wild game. Some go as far as to seed with native grasses and shrubs to improve the habitat.

I don't know how much WMNF does clear for this purpose anymore but when hiking, one can occasionally see such "deer yards" in proximity to dense evergreen coverage which provides food and winter shelter. They're often a good place to spot moose or deer around dawn and dusk.

I welcome view clearings on mountain tops as an additional reward for the summit as long as they're not done recklessly to start an unnecessary and unwanted erosion process. Aesthetics and wildlife have equal standing to lists, redlines and times in my hiking world.

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 09:34 AM
I don't have an axe to grind in this one way or the other but I'm not a fan. My original thought was if they turned a blind eye to this on Tecumseh would it start happening in other places. Wasn't there another trail in the Whites recently that had some controversial clearings cut on it? (As usual my memory is failing me but I believe they were authorized in that case. Were large sections opened up on the lower parts of the trail on steep banks). Starting to see tons of non essential cairns being built everywhere as "art" on summits, above treeline, in river beds. Where does it stop?

Seems to fly in the face of Leave No Trace. I'm not a big fan of artificially creating elements in nature that weren't there in the first place. Seems like a symptom of the "next generation" of hiker that wants the payoff without the effort (i.e. that great view on Bondcliff is too far so why not clear cut the top of Tecumseh instead because it's an easier hike). I like finding things in nature as close to how they were at the beginning as possible. If you want great views there are plenty of hikes where you already have them. You don't need to manufacture any. And if you aren't fit enough for the hikes you can still enjoy these views in many places with tram rides, auto roads and scenic vistas along highways.

peakbagger
09-22-2015, 10:00 AM
I agree that a broad brush approach to view clearing could be detrimental. On the other hand the ranger district in that area has a long term heavy hand on management which I suspect most would object to. Samples of the heavy hand are the resources wasted on Owls Head, The bridge removal over the Wilderness trail and the upcoming Thoreau Fall bridge removal. Sometimes they need to pick their battles better and a view on Tecumseh in my opinion should be pretty low on the priority list.

bikehikeskifish
09-22-2015, 10:56 AM
So by that reasoning, if an all-volunteer group rebuilt the bridge one day under cover of darkness... :rolleyes:

Tim

Jazzbo
09-22-2015, 11:52 AM
I agree with Peakbagger's point of view. Tecumseh has conical summit cone and amount of clearing is minimal to maintain the view. it would be preferable to have it maintained by skilled maintainer. Enhancing views on some peaks would work to spread ever-increasing trail usage over more trails rather than the limited number of peaks with views. Many summits are flat topped and short of catastrophic weather event will never have views. Many so-called view-less peaks have very fine view ledges on or not far from the trail that could benefit from enhancement. South Resolution (as mentioned in WMG) is incredible fine view ledge will never need brushing, but the little spur trail that leads to it always needs brushing and a sign informing hikers it is there.

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 12:00 PM
Enhancing views on some peaks would work to spread ever-increasing trail usage over more trails rather than the limited number of peaks with views.

That's a good point. I'm all for spreading out the crowds and their impact. I still think there are plenty of summits 2-3 miles from trail heads for tremendous views though. Is the ultimate goal preserving the natural state of the White Mountains or making it as easily accessible to as many people as possible?

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 12:06 PM
the resources wasted on Owls Head,

Only did Owl's Head once and quite frankly it is well down my list of favorites but I don't recall any structures, bridges, drainages, etc to suck up resources on that route. Seemed pretty untouched. What are the resources used for that area - is maintenance at 13 Falls site considered part of that area, ranger patrols for illegal camping, etc? I've read about the cairns to Owl's Head spur (being unofficial trail) getting taken down. Is that happening more than I realize? I guess I always associate resource use with physical structures and trail work. What other types of things do monies get used for in specific areas?

peakbagger
09-22-2015, 12:42 PM
You missed the "battle of owls head" a few years back. The FS decided to remove the path and remove the signage on the summit. The FS would send an employee out to remove cairns and signs and the hiking public would undo the work a day or two later. This went on for months. One unnamed individual made up numerous summit signs and offered to supply them to anyone heading up. One of the more humorous points was when an alleged FS employee posted on VFTT chastising the hiking public for forcing the FS to expend so many resources in implementing policy, the feedback to them was that perhaps they needed to elect to manage some other policy. It gradually tapered off to the current state where the cairns remain but if a permanent sign is installed it seems to disappear.

My observations this summer were that there sure wasn't heavy enforcement of wilderness area camping regulations especially along the Bondcliff trail. I would expect that the majority of staff time is spent in the front country versus backcountry.

sierra
09-22-2015, 01:11 PM
I like the view and I'm glad it's been cleared. As far as leaving the mountains in their natural state, have you not seen all the logging the forest service has authorized? It's done on an ugly way, leaving scars on the landscape that takes years and years to grow over. So excuse me if I'm not offended by a small clearing that hikers can enjoy, that absolutely not bother anyone who doesn't go up there. As far as LNT, I find that argument to fail on many levels. Huts, fs view points, rest areas on the kanc, the Cog. We can't have a small view on a nice peak?

TJsName
09-22-2015, 01:26 PM
Hmmm, on a peak with a ski area with great SWATHS of clearcuts (aka "ski trails"), a large area of satellite/radio towers, etc., it seems kinda silly to get so upset about clearing for hiker views. Perhaps the $ spent on kiosk(s) and signs could be better spent? (I haven't seen the actual signs or recent cuttings as I haven't been there since maybe winter)

I'm wondering if you've noticed the price tag on the kiosk across from the Osseo trail (I think it's about not taking railroad spikes). I believe the price tag is for $259. :p

As for the general thread, I don't have a problem with a view clearing being added so long as it's done well (not just a stumpy clear-cut with a pile of brush).

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 02:13 PM
You missed the "battle of owls head" a few years back. The FS decided to remove the path and remove the signage on the summit. The FS would send an employee out to remove cairns and signs and the hiking public would undo the work a day or two later. This went on for months. One unnamed individual made up numerous summit signs and offered to supply them to anyone heading up. One of the more humorous points was when an alleged FS employee posted on VFTT chastising the hiking public for forcing the FS to expend so many resources in implementing policy, the feedback to them was that perhaps they needed to elect to manage some other policy. It gradually tapered off to the current state where the cairns remain but if a permanent sign is installed it seems to disappear.

My observations this summer were that there sure wasn't heavy enforcement of wilderness area camping regulations especially along the Bondcliff trail. I would expect that the majority of staff time is spent in the front country versus backcountry.

Gotcha. Thanks. I'm pretty green to the politics and posturing on a lot of these issues. Had no idea it was so heated.

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 02:42 PM
I like the view and I'm glad it's been cleared. As far as leaving the mountains in their natural state, have you not seen all the logging the forest service has authorized? It's done on an ugly way, leaving scars on the landscape that takes years and years to grow over. So excuse me if I'm not offended by a small clearing that hikers can enjoy, that absolutely not bother anyone who doesn't go up there. As far as LNT, I find that argument to fail on many levels. Huts, fs view points, rest areas on the kanc, the Cog. We can't have a small view on a nice peak?

I presume this was directed at me. It is my understanding - correct me if I am wrong - that Leave No Trace is a relatively new program to preserve and protect the current state of the forest. I'm certainly not taking the stand that Tecumseh is a glaring and obvious exception to an otherwise flawless program of preservation in NH. Tecumseh is out in the back country (sort of). Most of the things you reference are right off roads that have existed for centuries and do not influence the back country and it's overall condition (other than the obvious exception of logging - a commercial endeavor that I don't think pertains the the other things here. Money rules out in just about all things). The Cog has been around forever and has historical significance. As far as the huts quite honestly I'm not a big fan of those either. I don't use them, never got water in one and don't care for the huge crowds that seem to hover around them all the time. Detracts from the wilderness experience in my book. They have also been around for what, 100 years now (some anyway)? So my take on Leave No Trace is that we have done enough to the woods already, realize it is in jeopardy to an extent and want to take steps to prevent a further decline in the areas we enjoy so much. It's not a way back machine for erasing 200 years of transgressions.

My only point in this is that the mountains seem to be getting an unprecedented amount of use and it is starting to show, and negatively in many ways (erosion, litter, crowds, the stupid little faux-cairns that are popping up everywhere, etc). I think the woods are a place to be enjoyed as they are, not molded and modified to suit short term needs and the whims of a wave of popularity. There is a sorely lacking level of respect for these areas by many and to see more and more initiatives "glam up" the forest is troubling. That's all. And the changes on Tecumseh have been done without authorization (i.e. f$%^ the rules. I'm doing what I want). While I can see there is a whole lot of disagreement about the Forestry Service, it's goals, it's decisions and how it's managed, etc, etc at some point there have to be rules that we adhere to whether we like it or not. And if we don't like it there are processes to bring about change just like any other law or policy. A lot of people on this forum do just that, and quite diligently I might add. I'm more concerned about the precedent of an unauthorized clearing and the implications it has for future clearings, than the actual clearing itself, which to reiterate is a nice spot and really not out of character with that particular area.

TomK
09-22-2015, 03:03 PM
It is my understanding - correct me if I am wrong - that Leave No Trace is a relatively new program to preserve and protect the current state of the forest.

Depends on your definition of "relatively new". I heard about and tried to practice LNT in the early/mid seventies...


TomK

Amy
09-22-2015, 03:05 PM
I just did Tecumseh for the first time last month. Beautiful weather, had the entire trail and summit to myself, didn't see another person all day. I went up the back trail (can't remember the name and don't have my maps with me) not the ski side. I saw no signs of clear-cutting. Did I miss it or is the clear-cutting on the approach from the ski area? What I did see was a beautiful view with hundreds of dragon flies (too many to make for comfortable napping).
5358

DayTrip
09-22-2015, 04:03 PM
Depends on your definition of "relatively new". I heard about and tried to practice LNT in the early/mid seventies...


TomK

Yes. I was thinking a few decades versus two hundred years for a lot of roads and trails, etc.

nartreb
09-22-2015, 04:07 PM
Amy,

See those tree stumps at lower left in your photo?

In 2002 the view was more like this:
http://www.davidalbeck.com/photos/tecumseh_su_02/img3.jpg
All you can see is the area just to the right of your bigger dragonfly.

bikehikeskifish
09-22-2015, 06:39 PM
Don't forget it's a National Forest (not a National Park). It's under the Departmeny of Agriculture and its tag line is "Land of many uses." One of which is logging.

Tim

RollingRock
09-22-2015, 09:43 PM
Don't forget it's a National Forest (not a National Park). It's under the Departmeny of Agriculture and its tag line is "Land of many uses." One of which is logging.

Tim

When does a National Forest become a National Park? Through an act of Congress? I'm not sure.

If WMNF became a National Park, does cutting down trees to provide views for hikers then become OK? I'm not sure.

My point is this, I think through public opinion, we are starting to question the Forest Service policies because we use the WMNF as if it is a National Park. Forest Service tearing down bridges, shelters, etc. rather than rebuilding and/or maintaining. I think many of us have stood by silently watching the implementation of this policy but I think the tearing down of the Thoreau Falls bridge has led people to say ENOUGH!

Sorry for veering off the main topic of this thread but I have no problem with maintaining views that existed many years ago for all to enjoy from a summit. Perhaps this is something a National Park would do...I don't know. But I think the Forest Service needs to relax its stance with these sort of issues and realize that the public really does see the WMNF as a National Park. Policies can change...unless the people in charge like to be 'control freaks' and enjoy using their authority to make people unhappy.

Raven
09-23-2015, 04:46 AM
Some thoughts: the view from Tecumseh has changed substantially in the past decade. I like the view.

I think the concern here is not whether the view is acceptable to us or not, but whether it is acceptable to us that anyone who feels like it can clear a summit view. That's letting the end justify the means.

I get the argument that since there's already buildings, lifts, motors, belts, and chairs up there, what's a few missing trees to leave a nice view. Makes sense, but again, if anyone can do that, there will be no trees left to look at. I don't want random hikers and other people making decisions about what views to clear, where to clear them, whether to leave stumps, etc.

Think of the threads we have had concerning hiker responsibility this year....toilet paper all over the place, no regard for 200' rule, camping anywhere and everywhere, groups of 30, fake dog IDs in Baxter, and so on........I don't want these same hikers deciding anything about views and viewpoints and certainly don't think they should be cutting down trees at will. That could get out of control quickly.

I like the view on Tecumseh and the view from Starr King. But just because I'd like one from Hale as well doesn't mean I should go up and cut one....come Hale or high water. ;)

Jazzbo
09-23-2015, 06:17 AM
Some thoughts: the view from Tecumseh has changed substantially in the past decade. I like the view.

I think the concern here is not whether the view is acceptable to us or not, but whether it is acceptable to us that anyone who feels like it can clear a summit view. That's letting the end justify the means.

I get the argument that since there's already buildings, lifts, motors, belts, and chairs up there, what's a few missing trees to leave a nice view. Makes sense, but again, if anyone can do that, there will be no trees left to look at. I don't want random hikers and other people making decisions about what views to clear, where to clear them, whether to leave stumps, etc.

Think of the threads we have had concerning hiker responsibility this year....toilet paper all over the place, no regard for 200' rule, camping anywhere and everywhere, groups of 30, fake dog IDs in Baxter, and so on........I don't want these same hikers deciding anything about views and viewpoints and certainly don't think they should be cutting down trees at will. That could get out of control quickly.

I like the view on Tecumseh and the view from Starr King. But just because I'd like one from Hale as well doesn't mean I should go up and cut one....come Hale or high water. ;)

Perhaps what is needed here is some form of citizens or users group independent of the FS . AMC used to perform this function and still does to certain extent. AMC used to have sub-committee which was once called "Improvements Committee". They were involved in early trail development in WMNF. They represented interests of the hiking communitee probably getting permission from USFS to build new trails or modify existing trails. I think there still exists such an AMC body, but I'm not knowledgeable in its current state or what it does these days. Emphasis has shifted to maintenance rather than building new trails. Anyway such a committee might propose measures like restoring or creating new view points.

One could get involved with such a committee - but expect to attend many meetings. Meetings are fine, but take much time and traveling. Time is short for most of us. Users are dispersed all over NE - these days volunteering and participating in committees must go the route of some form of online forum route.

RollingRock
09-23-2015, 06:21 AM
I think the concern here is not whether the view is acceptable to us or not, but whether it is acceptable to us that anyone who feels like it can clear a summit view. That's letting the end justify the means.

Agreed. The problem is that with the Forest Service policy of not clearing views on summits that once existed, people are starting to take matters into their own hands. This problem will probably continue for the Forest Service until they change their policy...I find this no different than the Forest Service improving the pull-offs off the Kancamagus Highway by clearing trees to improve the view and improving the facilities. It's OK to clear views for tourists but not for hikers reaching summits...we are not talking about a lot of trees here folks.

DayTrip
09-23-2015, 06:46 AM
Some thoughts: the view from Tecumseh has changed substantially in the past decade. I like the view.

I think the concern here is not whether the view is acceptable to us or not, but whether it is acceptable to us that anyone who feels like it can clear a summit view. That's letting the end justify the means.


This was the point I was laboring to make. You'd think something as simple as this wouldn't be so muddied in multiple organizations and elaborate processes. I wish I understood more about the organizations involved in all of this. As another poster eluded to, it shouldn't take so much time to follow and participate in these functions. The joy of government bureaucracy.

TCD
09-23-2015, 07:24 AM
Regarding Forest Service vs. Park Service, as Tim pointed out, these are very different agencies (with a different reporting chain all the way up to the President). The Forest Service reports to the Department of Agriculture; the Park Service reports into the Derpartment of the Interior. In VERY broad terms, USFS mission is the best use of the land; NPS mission is the protection of specific parks. My (very broad brush) perception from travels out west is that the Forest Service is generally friendlier and more welcoming than the Park Service, everywhere we went. If you made the WMNF into the WMNP, many current recreational activities would be immediately locked out; one bridge would be the least of your problems.

I think in the Pemi you are dealing with local management with a bad attitude. Have seen the same here in the ADKs from time to time. Current regulatory approach here seems relatively balanced, and they are doing a pretty good job. (The sign of a good job is that there are about the same number of self-marginalized radicals on both sides of most issues.) But we have been through periods of bad management. Within the last ten years, those same regulatory agencies have conducted hate-filled vendettas against local landowners more than once. The bad actors who perpetrated this are out of the agencies now, and more sensible ideas are prevailing. You need to try to clear out the bad apples; it's a long and painful process.

Stan
09-23-2015, 07:40 AM
When there is a void, someone will fill that vacuum. In this case, it sounds like the WMNF has created a void due to lack of funds to do the job properly ... a pervasive problem across the board in government functions as it bites off more than it can chew ... and it also suggests there are two discussions going on: 1. whether clearing views at summits, or elsewhere, is appropriate, and 2. if and where it is appropriate, who can clear it.

On item 1. I think it is appropriate but that depends on where as there are inappropriate places where I think we'd it agree it shouldn't happen, most notably wilderness areas or where it can create problems such as erosion. Aside from that it is debateable depending upon one's personal perspective and that's what a democracy is for ... but an informed populace is important to the functioning of that democracy.

On item 2. It is the landowner's responsibility and though it may be delegated, it should be done within bounds of good forestry practice. Done right it not only creates views, it can create an under story healthy in many respects. Might also serve as a firebreak in some instances. I guess it should be done in the context of a larger forestry plan. So, if WMNF doesn't have funds it should provide leadership. When it does neither ...

JustJoe
09-23-2015, 08:01 AM
Wasn't there another trail in the Whites recently that had some controversial clearings cut on it? (As usual my memory is failing me but I believe they were authorized in that case.



Not sure if this is the trail you're talking about. Saw this on the Gale River Trail in mid Sept. of last year. And I'm pretty sure it was'n there in early August. A good 30' swath of spruce laid out in a pile for not much of view even on a clear day I'd imagine. Pretty ugly and unnecessary. I've no idea if this was, or was not authorized. But in my eyes, it's damned ugly.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dkX4V8mK2fI/VgKb6P4jYxI/AAAAAAABJtg/nD7oeLUer28/s800-Ic42/IMG_5569.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tkbGWMl8bxI/VgKb9EmCNMI/AAAAAAABJto/5yfJq89X0yk/s800-Ic42/IMG_5567.JPG

peakbagger
09-23-2015, 08:35 AM
In discussion with past WMNF employees, its easy to decide to enforce something in the rulebook. The rules say no one can cut trees and that possession of tools to cut trees is illegal. Someone in the public complains and if the FS supervisor decides its a priority, an employee goes out and enforces the rules. On the other hand clearing a view is a policy decision that must laboriously wind its way through a slow system that is suffering from serious budget limitations. As another employee commented at one point ten plus years ago, in the old days they could do what is right but now they have to go through the bureaucracy to change the color of the toilet paper in the outhouses.

As this thread shows, everyone has differing opinions on clearing. The easiest management approach by the WMNF is to ignore things and let mother nature take its course which as we are all experiencing is to let the trail system decay to the point where the trails can be discontinued.

A friend who is in theory the volunteer maintainer of a trail in a designated wilderness area has explained to me that all he really gets to maintain is the memory of what the trail had been before, he is allowed to pick up litter and report major blowdowns but blazing, or any trimming or clipping is strictly forbidden. He goes out on limb and throws dead branches out of the trail bed but he suspects that even that is frowned on.

Thus the system is primed to do nothing, so private initiative takes over. There are certain lines that the hiking public seem to support like the prohibition about building new unauthorized trails (I.E. the double bubble nubble trail) but other things like maintaining the Hale Firewarden's trail and its glade skiing runs seems to get tacit support. My perception is that view clearing tend to be on the tacit support side of the majority of the hiking public especially on 4Ks.

I expect many folks have hiked the path through the woods to the Zealand summit, they may not realize that that path is relatively new, previously the woods were interlaced with paths spreading the damage over a wide area, at some point the current path was hardened, a summit arbitrarily delineated with a sign at some arbitrary spot to reduce the impact. Wildcat E and Cabot both exhibit similar threading off the trail to reach the "official high spot" and I wouldn't be surprised when these paths get hardened to cut down on degradation of the summit area. Previously both these summits were regarded as climbed when going over the high spot on the trail but certain purists started commenting that these summits hadn't truly been climbed unless the woods were trampled until the true high spot was obtained. This approach to hardening in also apparently formal policy in the ADKs where herd paths have been hardened to prevent overall degradation to the alpine zone. I have seen similar 4K summit "herd" clearings on North Tripyramid. Middle Carter and South (or Middle) Hancock and expect they will get further view enhancement in the future.

rocket21
09-23-2015, 09:13 AM
As an interesting point of reference, the summit of Mt. Tecumseh was described has having 360 degree views prior to the land being transferred to the Forest Service.

Tom_Murphy
09-23-2015, 09:43 AM
A friend who is in theory the volunteer maintainer of a trail in a designated wilderness area has explained to me that all he really gets to maintain is the memory of what the trail had been before, he is allowed to pick up litter and report major blowdowns but blazing, or any trimming or clipping is strictly forbidden. He goes out on limb and throws dead branches out of the trail bed but he suspects that even that is frowned on.


I was a trail adopter of a remote trail in a designated wilderness area until this past season [LBT from Owl Head slide to 13 Falls].

At the USFS training class each spring, I was instructed to brush out the trail using the criteria of a "door being swept along the path". I was also taught to cut at the base of the tree branch. Rather than blazing, I was encouraged to brush in any confusing spurs or herd paths.

I was taking a "bonsai tree" light handed approach. About 3 years ago, an AMC trail crew came through cleared a pretty big trail corridor.

JCarter
09-23-2015, 10:04 AM
Yeah, if a trail adopter in a Wilderness thinks he's forbidden to trim brush from a designated trail, he got different training than I did. The corridor should be narrower, so trimming is less aggressive, but not non-existent. Also, you generally won't find new rockwork in the Wilderness.

Grey J
09-23-2015, 11:04 AM
A very interesting thread. I probably can't say it any better than Raven did in post #27. Speaking of Hale, there was a guy who used to take pleasure in posting outrageous comments on the old AMC bulletin board who once advocated taking a blow torch to the summit of Hale and clearing out the view. I don't think he was serious. He was known for his inflammatory statements.

Jazzbo
09-23-2015, 11:33 AM
An interesting and comic twist on this topic. One time we went up mt Hale in April during big snow winter and an enterprising and eccentric guy was up there with snow shovels. Snow had a firm crust and he was cutting and stacking snow to the point where he had constructed a very fine 360 degree viewing tower made of snow which enabled us to enjoy a exceedingly fine view of neighboring summits. We all put in some time adding to his tower. Carrigain is a special case with it's tower which was renovated by FS in recent past.

Driver8
09-23-2015, 12:11 PM
Agreed. The problem is that with the Forest Service policy of not clearing views on summits that once existed, people are starting to take matters into their own hands. This problem will probably continue for the Forest Service until they change their policy...I find this no different than the Forest Service improving the pull-offs off the Kancamagus Highway by clearing trees to improve the view and improving the facilities. It's OK to clear views for tourists but not for hikers reaching summits...we are not talking about a lot of trees here folks.

I agree with this, but have to say, also, I hated seeing all the stumps and dead tree parts when I visited Tecumseh almost two years ago. A little trim here and there is one thing. Leveling a significant patch of established forest, as there, is another. Had the view been maintained over time, that would be perhaps more acceptable.

John in NH
09-23-2015, 01:15 PM
I don't know if someone touched on this in this thread, but I just wanted to observe that about a month ago I noticed an obvious bootleg path off of the western section of the Tecumseh summit loop. The path was recently cut and led about .2 miles south to a new viewpoint, also recently cut, that provides a view south over the ridge to the ski area and obviously all the peaks that way. How new is this? Anyone else notice it?

Driver8
09-23-2015, 01:25 PM
I don't know if someone touched on this in this thread, but I just wanted to observe that about a month ago I noticed an obvious bootleg path off of the western section of the Tecumseh summit loop. The path was recently cut and led about .2 miles south to a new viewpoint, also recently cut, that provides a view south over the ridge to the ski area and obviously all the peaks that way. How new is this? Anyone else notice it?

Haven't been there since Nov '13, so I can't add observations, only a question. If the loop's split, downhill of the summit, is at 12 o'clock and the southwestward section of the Mount Tecumseh Trail leading off the summit toward Tripoli Road is at about 4 o'clock, where is this new side trail?

bikehikeskifish
09-23-2015, 03:55 PM
Haven't been there since Nov '13, so I can't add observations, only a question. If the loop's split, downhill of the summit, is at 12 o'clock and the southwestward section of the Mount Tecumseh Trail leading off the summit toward Tripoli Road is at about 4 o'clock, where is this new side trail?

It is at 6 O'Clock on the southern tip of the summit shown in the GPS track image below:

http://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=5359


I don't know if someone touched on this in this thread, but I just wanted to observe that about a month ago I noticed an obvious bootleg path off of the western section of the Tecumseh summit loop. The path was recently cut and led about .2 miles south to a new viewpoint, also recently cut, that provides a view south over the ridge to the ski area and obviously all the peaks that way. How new is this? Anyone else notice it?

Yes!

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/t31.0-8/11248072_985301404826442_147879140349226669_o.jpg
August 29, 2015

Tim

DayTrip
09-23-2015, 05:02 PM
[QUOTE=JustJoe;426678]Not sure if this is the trail you're talking about. Saw this on the Gale River Trail in mid Sept. of last year. And I'm pretty sure it was'n there in early August. A good 30' swath of spruce laid out in a pile for not much of view even on a clear day I'd imagine. Pretty ugly and unnecessary. I've no idea if this was, or was not authorized. But in my eyes, it's damned ugly.

[QUOTE]

Was this on Gale River Trail or on the GRT a short distance heading toward Galehead Hut? I went to Galehead Hut about 6 weeks ago and specifically noted a clearing on the GRT I did not recall and the first thing I thought of was if this was an unauthorized view clearing. It appeared to have no other purpose at all. That's what got me thinking if they don't enforce clearing issues these little spots are going to start popping up everywhere.

I wish I could think of what trail meant. I remember reading a thread about how someone (I want to say a mountain club or similar group) had made some controversial -but I believe approved- view clearings and then when I did the trail noting how large and ugly they were (stumps, downed trees left, etc). I only did the trail once. The area of the clearings was in a big switchback and the trail was pretty gravel packed. It was maybe two summers ago. The "controversy" was new to me because I had just started following this forum but it could well have been older than that. I can't for the life of me recall the trail.

JustJoe
09-23-2015, 07:40 PM
[QUOTE=JustJoe;426678]Not sure if this is the trail you're talking about. Saw this on the Gale River Trail in mid Sept. of last year. And I'm pretty sure it was'n there in early August. A good 30' swath of spruce laid out in a pile for not much of view even on a clear day I'd imagine. Pretty ugly and unnecessary. I've no idea if this was, or was not authorized. But in my eyes, it's damned ugly.

[QUOTE]

Was this on Gale River Trail or on the GRT a short distance heading toward Galehead Hut? I went to Galehead Hut about 6 weeks ago and specifically noted a clearing on the GRT I did not recall and the first thing I thought of was if this was an unauthorized view clearing. It appeared to have no other purpose at all. That's what got me thinking if they don't enforce clearing issues these little spots are going to start popping up everywhere.

I wish I could think of what trail meant. I remember reading a thread about how someone (I want to say a mountain club or similar group) had made some controversial -but I believe approved- view clearings and then when I did the trail noting how large and ugly they were (stumps, downed trees left, etc). I only did the trail once. The area of the clearings was in a big switchback and the trail was pretty gravel packed. It was maybe two summers ago. The "controversy" was new to me because I had just started following this forum but it could well have been older than that. I can't for the life of me recall the trail.

I thought it was below the junction but can't be positive. At any rate, it's an ugly mess.

rocket21
09-23-2015, 08:18 PM
I don't know if someone touched on this in this thread, but I just wanted to observe that about a month ago I noticed an obvious bootleg path off of the western section of the Tecumseh summit loop. The path was recently cut and led about .2 miles south to a new viewpoint, also recently cut, that provides a view south over the ridge to the ski area and obviously all the peaks that way. How new is this? Anyone else notice it?

The herd path is probably closer to 100 yards long (a full branch of the summit loop is 0.2 miles). The actual view I believe has been visited for years (have heard stories from multiple folks about accidentally finding it while doing their winter 48 in the old days). The first part of the herd path has been there for a very long time, as it leads to a bootleg camp site. The second part of the herd path was hacked (stumps sticking up; sound familiar?) circa September 2013 if I recall correctly...around the same time, I was the Tecumseh organizer for Flags on the 48 and was caught off guard when the old tree we were planning to anchor the pole to disappeared just before the event. Fortunately we brought enough straps to improvise a new solution.

Driver8
09-24-2015, 12:02 AM
It is at 6 O'Clock on the southern tip of the summit shown in the GPS track image below

...

Tim

Thanks, Tim.

I want to understand clearly, if possible. Does your track depict you walking this herd path? So as you ascend to the summit from the south, by the left/west branch of the loop, the hp goes right, southward, from right near the summit? So it departs from the official trail on the summit knob at something like 3990', a bit south of the summit proper?

bikehikeskifish
09-24-2015, 06:04 AM
Thanks, Tim.

I want to understand clearly, if possible. Does your track depict you walking this herd path? So as you ascend to the summit from the south, by the left/west branch of the loop, the hp goes right, southward, from right near the summit? So it departs from the official trail on the summit knob at something like 3990', a bit south of the summit proper?

You understand it clearly. I found it by accident because while coming down, my dog chose to go straight instead of right (right being the steep part of the trail.) I then went across the Sossman to the tower and part way down the ski trails (Tangent / Periphery) before rejoining the Mt. Tecumseh Trail where it is closest to the ski trail.

5360

Tim

John in NH
09-24-2015, 08:50 AM
Yes, the length of this spur might be more accurately described as about .1 or a little less, my memory was faulty. But it would be accurate to say you have to keep going down it a little ways, the view isn't immediate.

Tim... Your post shows it perfectly. I won't say anything about the Yankees or Red Sox though.

Raymond
09-24-2015, 12:20 PM
I also noticed that path just behind Tecumsehís summit, but I didnít investigate it far enough to discover that it led to a view. Next time.

There is also a well-beaten or possibly cleared path way out on the western end of Mt. Tecumseh Trail, beyond West Tecumseh, on another minor summit. There wasnít much of a view from it, though.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5793/21670956482_29e03fd9cd_k.jpg

sierra
09-24-2015, 12:29 PM
I've seen the path, I'll have to check it out.

Driver8
09-24-2015, 01:44 PM
You understand it clearly. I found it by accident because while coming down, my dog chose to go straight instead of right (right being the steep part of the trail.) I then went across the Sossman to the tower and part way down the ski trails (Tangent / Periphery) before rejoining the Mt. Tecumseh Trail where it is closest to the ski trail.

...

Tim

Thanks again. Seems like the industrious view-improver has kept at it. Wonder if it's the same person, going around the Whites, doing this in selected places - Waumbek and Starr King, Gale River Trail, Tecumseh, etc.

Come to think of it, I think I saw that side trail on my climb. Being very goal-directed, I just reckoned it not to be the path to the top and discarded it mentally. Had I known, I'd've checked it out. I do that more nowadays when arriving at summits, looking for side views, esp on viewless or limited view summits.

The thing about this spur path is that similar views can be had from the ski slopes, so this effort is arguably superfluous.

bikehikeskifish
09-24-2015, 02:53 PM
The thing about this spur path is that similar views can be had from the ski slopes, so this effort is arguably superfluous.

You probably can't get a view of the ski area summit tower from (m)any other place(s).

Tim

peakbagger
09-24-2015, 03:22 PM
Waumbek is a natural clearing caused by an ever increasing blowdown patch. The view is actually just past the summit on the KRT.

I speculate that Starr Kings view was reestablished by the maintaining club.

The FS is going to be clearing a helispot on Cabot near the cabin. It potentially will open up some views as the former firetower clearing is rapidly growing in. It was limited to east/west views

The Mt Speck view was cleared by the one of the state of maine agencies when they renovated the tower. For several years the tower was closed and the summit was surrounded by a ring of tall firs and spruces making it a disappointing trip.

East Osceola, North Tripyramid and one of the Carters just will take more folks tromping down on the topsoil at the highpoint compacting it and slowly choking off the roots of the trees for a few more years. Add in a godo wind event and they will open up.

Driver8
09-25-2015, 12:18 AM
You probably can't get a view of the ski area summit tower from (m)any other place(s).

Tim

Other than walking past it, I suppose, via the Sosman.

Driver8
09-25-2015, 12:25 AM
Waumbek is a natural clearing caused by an ever increasing blowdown patch. The view is actually just past the summit on the KRT.

Hiked it couple months ago. Loved that viewspot. Spoke with Steve Smith about it after and he noted its expansion and expressed the sense that the natural forces at work may have been aided by lobber and saw. I thought the Waumbek view much superior to those presently afforded by Starr King. I did happily get an ok through-the-trees view of Cabot and Terrace from the large rock just across the trail from SK's summit.

Off topic: I could raise this in a different thread, if preferred. On visiting Starr King and Waumbek, I noted, from Google Earth and on-the-ground observations, that maybe 0.1 to 0.2 east of Starr King's chimney, it looked like a side trip of 100 feet or so south from the SKT would get one to a sharp drop-off which looked to yield a nice view. Anyone ever check this possible view out? I didn't, being solo and doing my best at the time to do the regulation trip. Turned out to be a late night as it was.

madmattd
10-06-2015, 12:25 PM
Saw this on the Gale River Trail in mid Sept. of last year. And I'm pretty sure it was'n there in early August. A good 30' swath of spruce laid out in a pile for not much of view even on a clear day I'd imagine. Pretty ugly and unnecessary. I've no idea if this was, or was not authorized. But in my eyes, it's damned ugly.



I thought it was below the junction but can't be positive. At any rate, it's an ugly mess.

I was up there this weekend (Galehead/Garfield), and immediately noticed this new "viewpoint", not remembering it having been there before either (my last visit to that area was in February 2014). It is on the Garfield Ridge Trail about halfway between the Gale River Trail junction and the Hut, and is indeed rather abrupt and while it offered an interesting directional view, was not necessary. Quite a lot of felled trees for seemingly no real purpose?

DayTrip
11-02-2015, 07:58 AM
Not sure if this is the trail you're talking about. Saw this on the Gale River Trail in mid Sept. of last year. And I'm pretty sure it was'n there in early August. A good 30' swath of spruce laid out in a pile for not much of view even on a clear day I'd imagine. Pretty ugly and unnecessary. I've no idea if this was, or was not authorized. But in my eyes, it's damned ugly.


Apparently the trail I was thinking of was the Gorge Brook Trail on Moosilauke. I had a Facebook memory pop up today for a Moosilauke hiking album so I scrolled through it and there it was! There were two large clearings on the "elbow" of the trail that juts out to the East at about 3500-3600'. I thought I had read that some people were not happy about the clearings. They are fairly large and unnatural looking. Only time I ever did this trail so I have no idea if there were smaller, natural clearings before that were expanded or if this was 100% new work.

David Metsky
11-02-2015, 11:18 AM
Those views on Gorge Brook were creating during the trail building process. There were slight natural views there, and they were expanded when the trail was cut. There are several artificial views cut on Moosilauke, but all on private land and by the landowners.

DayTrip
11-02-2015, 12:33 PM
Those views on Gorge Brook were creating during the trail building process. There were slight natural views there, and they were expanded when the trail was cut. There are several artificial views cut on Moosilauke, but all on private land and by the landowners.

Thanks. When I was there it had been "freshly" cut with a lot of the trees and stumps still visible. Prior to my hike I had read something about how people were not pleased with the work and as I went up the trail I was wondering about these clearings and then was like "Ahh. These must be the clearings." Maybe I misunderstood what I read about clearings as being on trail when it was directed at some off trail activity. They were ugly outlooks, especially considering not too much farther up you emerge from the scrub with plenty of views.

It is not the best picture but here is the clearing:
5396

David Metsky
11-02-2015, 01:31 PM
That's the second clearing, IIRC. There's one much lower on the logging road section of the trail. This second one is higher up after a few switchbacks, but just before the third view on the last major switchback before the Balcony. Of all the clearings, IMO this was the least useful. It mostly duplicates the first view and is much too close to the third.

DayTrip
11-02-2015, 02:17 PM
That's the second clearing, IIRC. There's one much lower on the logging road section of the trail. This second one is higher up after a few switchbacks, but just before the third view on the last major switchback before the Balcony. Of all the clearings, IMO this was the least useful. It mostly duplicates the first view and is much too close to the third.

Correct. I had a picture of the larger clearing before it but it was too dim to really get any sense of the size. I don't recall a third clearing but I think I've already chronicled in detail my spotty memory for these things. :)

Just for my own FYI....what is the "Balcony"? Love when trail features have special names and I haven't heard this one before. Thanks.

David Metsky
11-02-2015, 02:57 PM
Just for my own FYI....what is the "Balcony"? Love when trail features have special names and I haven't heard this one before. Thanks.
Going up GB it's a sharp turn to the left that gives you pretty unrestricted views back towards the Ravine Lodge, Franconia Ridge, and beyond. It's a rocky section with some nice stone work that ends with a view of South Peak, then turns right and hits the "Entering Alpine Zone" sign. I'm guessing it's around 4400'.

DayTrip
11-02-2015, 08:11 PM
I think I know what you mean now. It was socked in fog the day I went this way but I remember a rocky climb and then a long, flat tongue or peninsula that was almost flat and went in and out of short trees and scrubby open patches before climbing the open meadow area to the summit. I suspect if it had been clear the views would have been great there. Thanks.

KV
11-02-2015, 10:09 PM
The sign on Tecumseh went up this summer, late July, early August. It was put there by a fellow WNMF Trail Steward Volunteer. I was told it was at the request of John Marunowski (I could have that spelling wrong). The first posted sign was on a tree, right smack dab in the middle of the newly scaped view and was poorly secured. I don't know who put the sign back a ways, on a sign board and beneath the trees, though I have my suspicions.

sierra
11-03-2015, 12:49 PM
Ok, I have to ask. Who is John Marunowski? I was under the impression when I saw the sign, that the FS itself put it there. Why is a volunteer doing this? To be honest, I like the view but hate the sign. I mean its intrusive and threatening and in plain view while trying to enjoy the summit. I would rather see it down at the road at the start of the trail, makes no sense to put it on the summit, frankly I'm surprised the FS would allow it.

bikehikeskifish
11-03-2015, 03:26 PM
John is the Pemi district ranger that covers Tecumseh.

Tim

KV
11-03-2015, 04:41 PM
Ok, I have to ask. Who is John Marunowski? I was under the impression when I saw the sign, that the FS itself put it there. Why is a volunteer doing this? To be honest, I like the view but hate the sign. I mean its intrusive and threatening and in plain view while trying to enjoy the summit. I would rather see it down at the road at the start of the trail, makes no sense to put it on the summit, frankly I'm surprised the FS would allow it.

Tim is correct, John is the district ranger in charge of that area of the forest. And since the sign has been moved from the viewscaped area it is no longer, to my mind, an intrusion or in the way. I'm not supporting or dissing the sign or the sentiment, just pointing out that it was moved off the ledge area. Pretty sure it will not deter the offending parties, regardless of placement. Just my .02

sierra
11-03-2015, 06:51 PM
The sign is ten ft from the summit ledge, it's on a kiosk that's 3ft tall, I do find it intrusive. The summit of a peak should be free of such signs, imo.

Stan
11-04-2015, 06:55 AM
The sign is ten ft from the summit ledge, it's on a kiosk that's 3ft tall, I do find it intrusive. The summit of a peak should be free of such signs, imo.

I agree. Sounds like the sign is more offensive than the work intended to create the view though I do feel that such work should be done with permission and under the standards of the owner.

bikehikeskifish
11-04-2015, 07:00 AM
The Forest Service has adopted a policy of signage / sign maintenance only for cases of public safety and resource protection. This likely falls into the latter bucket.

Tim

sierra
11-04-2015, 12:45 PM
The Forest Service has adopted a policy of signage / sign maintenance only for cases of public safety and resource protection. This likely falls into the latter bucket.

Tim

I agree and I do not dispute the need for the sign from their vantage point. I just don't agree with the location (summit) the same sign could have the same impact at the trailhead, where people normally expect a kiosk.

hikerfast
11-04-2015, 01:17 PM
there is something priceless about a 7 foot high huge manmade sign proclaiming that there has been manmade view clearing going on

Raymond
11-04-2015, 02:12 PM
I donít remember the sign being in the way of the view. I thought it was in the woods behind the summit cairn.

On October 15, anyway.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5669/22775286132_a3c6db411e_k.jpg

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/735/22600829810_f332137775_n.jpg

Becca M
11-04-2015, 05:13 PM
Jeez - I haven't been up since spring, but, that's a nice-looking view!!!!!

sierra
11-04-2015, 07:07 PM
I don’t remember the sign being in the way of the view. I thought it was in the woods behind the summit cairn.

On October 15, anyway.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5669/22775286132_a3c6db411e_k.jpg

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/735/22600829810_f332137775_n.jpg

it's not in the way of the view, it's just intrusive being on the summit, imo.

Raymond
11-06-2015, 12:10 AM
Eh. I didn’t even notice it until I was leaving.

If they start setting up spy cameras, however ...

DayTrip
11-07-2015, 05:34 PM
Eh. I didn’t even notice it until I was leaving.

If they start setting up spy cameras, however ...

I believe they've used cameras to catch thieves breaking into cars so it wouldn't shock me if cameras got used for this.

Driver8
11-08-2015, 11:33 PM
I agree. Sounds like the sign is more offensive than the work intended to create the view though I do feel that such work should be done with permission and under the standards of the owner.

But for the wood the make the kiosk, the sign doesn't involve the killing of dozens of trees. The view clearing, however ...

sierra
11-09-2015, 12:32 PM
But for the wood the make the kiosk, the sign doesn't involve the killing of dozens of trees. The view clearing, however ...

I'd rather the view then the Kiosk. AS far as killing tree's, that a time honored tradition in the Whites. Just ask John Henry.:eek:

Driver8
11-09-2015, 06:10 PM
I'd rather the view then the Kiosk. AS far as killing tree's, that a time honored tradition in the Whites. Just ask John Henry.:eek:

We need all the trees we can get and should be planting more wherever we can, not chopping them down.

Becca M
11-09-2015, 06:22 PM
We need all the trees we can get and should be planting more wherever we can, not chopping them down.

tell that to the crews clearing the new W I D E ski trails on Cannon/Mittersill that you can probably see from outer space

:0

TDawg
11-09-2015, 07:49 PM
tell that to the crews clearing the new W I D E ski trails on Cannon/Mittersill that you can probably see from outer space :0

Or how about the forest service themselves who cleared this "improved" snowmobile route in the Three Ponds area. Degrading the Mt Kineo trail, and to a degree, the whole 3 Ponds experience in the process IMHO. Guess its not near a 4k or their precious Pemi Wilderness so nobody cares. Oh and it comes with a new bridge too but thats for a different thread. ;)

Becca M
11-09-2015, 08:39 PM
ugh -yeah, the three ponds area is QUITE unfortunate (for hikers), but, I guess it would be fun on a snow machine - ?

TJsName
11-10-2015, 12:36 AM
I'd rather the view then the Kiosk. AS far as killing tree's, that a time honored tradition in the Whites. Just ask John Henry.:eek:

I'm not sure how many trees he personally cut down, but his legacy is also a legacy of the values and incentives of the time in which he lived.

JustJoe
11-10-2015, 05:39 AM
This thread has had 5800 views. Don't know if it counts nonmember views. Through word of mouth you can probably at least X's that by 5. So 25,000+. Maby more than that have heard by now. Now, you can not argue that fact that this was, and is, a illegal act. But, I wonder what the percentage of the people who now know, have returned just to see this. I came close Sunday. And, how many of those have spent money in Campton? Be it "Dunk's", gas, post hike "Booze and Vittles". Maybe stopped at Ski Fanatics to check out close-outs and or the new line of gear? And if in winter, maybe bought a half day ski pass and skied that rest of the day.

So, this could be far fetched, but not a but publicity stunt to drum-up some local business. Just a thought. :cool:

Driver8
11-10-2015, 02:56 PM
tell that to the crews clearing the new W I D E ski trails on Cannon/Mittersill that you can probably see from outer space

:0

Chuckle. I'm sure they'll listen. :)

Stan
11-10-2015, 05:34 PM
ugh -yeah, the three ponds area is QUITE unfortunate (for hikers), but, I guess it would be fun on a snow machine - ?
Haven't been there lately but I've taken beginner snowshoers and xc/bc skiers to Three Ponds via the snow machine trails. Just hope someone's more conscientious about cleaning up around the shelter. Otherwise, they werean enjoyable experiences with nothing but a few friendly encounters with snow machines.

Becca M
11-10-2015, 06:06 PM
Haven't been there lately but I've taken beginner snowshoers and xc/bc skiers to Three Ponds via the snow machine trails. Just hope someone's more conscientious about cleaning up around the shelter. Otherwise, they werean enjoyable experiences with nothing but a few friendly encounters with snow machines.

Over the years I have visited the area quite a bit... first time years ago in early spring when I got lost on the old snowmobile trails (prior to the recent work) which seemed to go straight across the swamps/bogs!!! I'm not totally clear on the work that happened over the last year or so, but, north of the ponds there has been significant clearing across the hiking trails so it was pretty confusing. As of last July, the Three Ponds Trail near Whitcher Hill was still pretty difficult to follow where it coincided with the snowmobile trail. Maybe the trail markers have been improved since then? There is a new snowmobile bridge on the east side of the 3-ponds loop (the MT Kineo Tr & Donkey Hill Cutoff Area).

Last summer we came upon a VERY unhappy pair of campers there - the guy was trying to console his girlfriend after they told us they were totally lost at that intersection despite all the signs. They were on their way out after spending the night at the shelter trying to cook hotdogs over burning paper since they couldn't start a fire..... The girl wouldn't even look us in the eye. YIKES!!!!!

sierra
11-10-2015, 07:17 PM
Over the years I have visited the area quite a bit... first time years ago in early spring when I got lost on the old snowmobile trails (prior to the recent work) which seemed to go straight across the swamps/bogs!!! I'm not totally clear on the work that happened over the last year or so, but, north of the ponds there has been significant clearing across the hiking trails so it was pretty confusing. As of last July, the Three Ponds Trail near Whitcher Hill was still pretty difficult to follow where it coincided with the snowmobile trail. Maybe the trail markers have been improved since then? There is a new snowmobile bridge on the east side of the 3-ponds loop (the MT Kineo Tr & Donkey Hill Cutoff Area).

Last summer we came upon a VERY unhappy pair of campers there - the guy was trying to console his girlfriend after they told us they were totally lost at that intersection despite all the signs. They were on their way out after spending the night at the shelter trying to cook hotdogs over burning paper since they couldn't start a fire..... The girl wouldn't even look us in the eye. YIKES!!!!!

He got her lost, then couldn't start a fire? not exactly a keeper.:eek:

Stan
11-11-2015, 09:24 AM
We need all the trees we can get and should be planting more wherever we can, not chopping them down.
As agreeable as that sentiment is, it is a very simplistic one.

Trees are a renewable resource, preferable to other sources of materials in several respects. They regenerate on their own; what is more conspicuous today, John Henry's work or the economic growth and opportunity it fostered for many immigrants and for the architectural legacy left behind?

Without cuts biodiversity suffers for both plant and animal life. Prior to man, wildfires accomplished that. Later, Native Americans practiced what's known today as prescribed burns. Cuts are useful in creating firebreaks.

A cut to create views is trivial compared to the mental health and perspective of a good view. Tecumseh is neither wilderness nor otherwise pristine. The mess left behind says more about the people who did it than its effect on the natural environment for, in the Northeast, the mess will compost in a generation or two.

Driver8
11-11-2015, 05:04 PM
As agreeable as that sentiment is, it is a very simplistic one.

You're entitled to your perspective, and to respect in expressing it. Let's hope others can be forgiven for preferring healthy, air filtering, soil nourishing, ground stabilizing trees to a view which can be exceeded, for the most part, from the vast swaths of cleared forest on the ski slopes nearby. Plenty of firebreak there. Not sure the hacking up of the trees at the summit is good for everyone's mental health - mileage will vary on that, to put it simply.

At least the tree hacker(s) didn't attempt a "controlled burn." Let's hope, having torn at the forest for quite a while now, he, she, or they will deem the view sufficient and feel no compulsion to hack further. Feel free, pursuant to such wisdom as you possess, to add nuance as fitting. ...

rocket21
11-12-2015, 09:10 AM
Let's hope others can be forgiven for preferring healthy, air filtering, soil nourishing, ground stabilizing trees

I assume those folks must be outraged by the Forest Service's helicopter landing zone cleared on Mt. Hitchcock and soon to be cleared on Carr Mountain and Mt. Cabot, which are larger clearings than the summit of Mt. Tecumseh?

Driver8
11-12-2015, 10:33 AM
I assume those folks must be outraged by the Forest Service's helicopter landing zone cleared on Mt. Hitchcock and soon to be cleared on Carr Mountain and Mt. Cabot, which are larger clearings than the summit of Mt. Tecumseh?

Why wouldn't they be? Maybe not outraged, but opposed, unless there is some strong utilitarian argument for these projects.

Amicus
11-12-2015, 01:01 PM
To mix threads a bit:


There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon. –HENRY DAVID THOREAU

So it seems that Henry D. did not take as narrow a view of what is "utilitarian" as some. He considered vast horizons to be not only useful but essential to happiness.

DMOutdoors
11-12-2015, 01:04 PM
I've read most of this thread and didn't see any comments about the reflective markers that were put on the trees. I've done a bit of night hiking in the last year or so, and it wasn't until a few months ago I noticed a reflective dot put on almost every other tree from the trail head to the summit. I kept looking up the trail thinking an animal was looking down at me. I certainly wasn't going to lose the trail, but it was a tremendous distraction from the natural beauty of a night hike. Does the other side from Tripoli have these markers too? I have only hiked that side once, and I may from now on. Just wondering if anyone has seen these or knew anything about their installation?

-Dan

TDawg
11-12-2015, 01:07 PM
Why wouldn't they be? Maybe not outraged, but opposed, unless there is some strong utilitarian argument for these projects.

Better radio communications for big brother is the reason. If you've been to Middle Sister you've seen the radio repeater. Also north of the East Royce summit there is one. 100' diameter swath on Signal Ridge should look nice. :(

Gotta love the feds making an amendment to their own forest plan because they couldn't figure a way to not decrease the Bicknell Thrush habitat with the project. (page 11-12)

From the WMNF page: http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/97730_FSPLT3_2466999.pdf

sierra
11-12-2015, 01:13 PM
You're entitled to your perspective, and to respect in expressing it. Let's hope others can be forgiven for preferring healthy, air filtering, soil nourishing, ground stabilizing trees to a view which can be exceeded, for the most part, from the vast swaths of cleared forest on the ski slopes nearby. Plenty of firebreak there. Not sure the hacking up of the trees at the summit is good for everyone's mental health - mileage will vary on that, to put it simply.

At least the tree hacker(s) didn't attempt a "controlled burn." Let's hope, having torn at the forest for quite a while now, he, she, or they will deem the view sufficient and feel no compulsion to hack further. Feel free, pursuant to such wisdom as you possess, to add nuance as fitting. ...

There is plenty of tree's in the mountains to enjoy, you can take a walk through the forest to reap their benefits. A view at the summit provides a chance to enrich the summit experience beyond sitting in a stand of tree's. I spend more time on Tecumseh's summit, relishing the view then I would if it had no view. I fail to see how such a small cutting, that effects nobody who does not go there is such a big deal. I would suggest the new Hut proposal might warrant more energy then a simple view cutting. I think it's time to put this one to bed.

rocket21
11-12-2015, 02:41 PM
Just wondering if anyone has seen these or knew anything about their installation?
I think I first noticed these this year...even though I hike the trail before/after daylight frequently, I rarely use a headlamp on it, so they were a bit of a surprise. They appear to be popping up on quite a few trails in the state.


I would suggest the new Hut proposal might warrant more energy then a simple view cutting.
Which brings up another example; from what I've heard from a former employee, there is no USFS approval of the continued view clearing at the AMC Zealand hut.

Driver8
11-12-2015, 03:15 PM
I think it's time to put this one to bed.

We disagree, yet I don't feel the need to put your expression of your perspective to bed. I'll thank you to return the courtesy.

sierra
11-12-2015, 04:40 PM
We disagree, yet I don't feel the need to put your expression of your perspective to bed. I'll thank you to return the courtesy.

I was suggesting the back and forth of our opinions, has run it's course. Obviously you feel the need to say more.

Driver8
11-12-2015, 05:38 PM
I was suggesting the back and forth of our opinions, has run it's course. Obviously you feel the need to say more.

The discussion is ongoing, and I agree people have mostly made themselves understood, but there might yet be more to be said.

I very much don't like the precedent set at Tecumseh. I'd hate to see "view bandits," be they well-intentioned trail maintainers or plain renegades, chopping up the forest on the 20-odd White 4K's with limited or no long-distance views. Leave nature as close as possible to its undisturbed state in such places, as I see it. For the sake of the trees and of wildness, such as it is.

rocket21
11-13-2015, 09:14 AM
I very much don't like the precedent set at Tecumseh. I'd hate to see "view bandits," be they well-intentioned trail maintainers or plain renegades, chopping up the forest on the 20-odd White 4K's with limited or no long-distance views. Leave nature as close as possible to its undisturbed state in such places, as I see it. For the sake of the trees and of wildness, such as it is.

I think many of us make the mistake of looking at 'precedent' through a lens of our personal timeframe. The reality is that quite a few 4Ks have a history of maintained viewpoints long predating us.

In the case of Tecumseh, Moses Foster Sweetser described 360 degree views from Mt. Tecumseh in the late 1800s. That 'precedent' obviously didn't hold as time passed and the original approach from Welch-Dickey was abandoned. The current view, which was *not* chopped by the trail maintainer, matches the 'precedent' set and maintained into the 1990s.

I also dispute the claim that 20-odd of the 48 have limited or no long-distance views. It's been a couple of years since I've been to some (which, not surprisingly, have limited views), but the vast majority of the 48 have excellent views at or near their summit.

TJsName
11-13-2015, 09:58 AM
Leave nature as close as possible to its undisturbed state in such places, as I see it. For the sake of the trees and of wildness, such as it is.

And so the trail to the summit should be maintained? And the road to the trailhead? There is more to nature than just trees, and I find it disingenuous when people argue that people aren't natural (not that you've explicitly stated that). I understand that human activity is common view outside the scope of natural phenomenon, but for the purposes of hiking, I view human activity as a part of nature - similar to beavers and moose and deer and insects impacting the forests. The question should be how large of an impact should be have, and does clearing out these view points have a significant negative impact? I would argue it does. As for a 'natural' state of the summit and the views it offers, I would argue the the view can change naturally as well, but it from fire, wind, or erosion. The perspective and appreciation one gets from a summit or clearing, and the view obtained should not be written off due to being 'unnatural (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-nature)'.

DayTrip
11-13-2015, 11:34 AM
I hate to even jump back into this thread but I think the primary issue (at least it was for me anyway) was that the clearing of said view was being done in violation of the law. If the people clearing the view had gone through the proper channels and received approval to create the viewpoint I would not have nearly as large of a problem with it. I'm not a fan of wide spread clearing of these views and the extensive trail work that gives trails an unnatural feel but if majority of people are in favor of it and it is done legally than I'm OK. That is how democracy works.

What I don't like is the precedent that anyone who feels the need to do whatever they want wherever they want is essentially being told to go ahead and do it becasue we don't have the time, desire or resources to enforce the law. That is a slippery slope and that is the aspect of all this I do not like. I think the primary objective of any trail work is to preserve the existing routes and keep the trails from having a negative impact on the environment when they are used (i.e erosion, etc), not make them easier to do (i.e. massive artificial stair cases and other features that belong in your backyard or downtown).

rocket21
11-13-2015, 01:59 PM
If the people clearing the view had gone through the proper channels and received approval to create the viewpoint I would not have nearly as large of a problem with it.
I'm not aware of any summit or near summit view clearings being approved by the Forest Service.


I think the primary objective of any trail work is to preserve the existing routes and keep the trails from having a negative impact on the environment when they are used (i.e erosion, etc), not make them easier to do (i.e. massive artificial stair cases and other features that belong in your backyard or downtown).
There is a contradiction in that statement; staircases are generally constructed to stop erosion and preserve existing routes.

DayTrip
11-13-2015, 02:34 PM
I'm not aware of any summit or near summit view clearings being approved by the Forest Service.


There is a contradiction in that statement; staircases are generally constructed to stop erosion and preserve existing routes.

So all the clearings we read about in this and other threads are illegal? I assume if Forest Service (or Fish And Game or whoever - I do not recall which agency is pushing the legality issue with the Tecumseh clearing) is challenging the clearing as illegal than there is some legal means for getting a view cleared on National Forest land right? Trail maintainers are required to get training on proper standards and report to some agency right? I'm not trying to be inflammatory here. Just legitimately inquiring as to how this process would go. It may have already been answered here and I forgot. This is a long thread.

And as far as the staircase comment, I get that there are functional purposes to these elements. I'm just saying they can become far more elaborate and artificial than they need to be, which I am not a fan of in the woods. I can build a simple concrete retaining wall in my backyard to hold back a slope. I could also build an elaborate multi-tiered rock wall with alcoves and other features to accomplish the same purpose. When these elements are very elaborate and contrived it cheapens the wilderness experience for me like I'm at a theme park or something, not walking around in the middle of nowhere. That's all. Maybe I'm not accurately expressing my sentiments how I'm describing it. The work is elaborate and impressive. Just out of place in my opinion.

rocket21
11-13-2015, 07:00 PM
So all the clearings we read about in this and other threads are illegal?
USFS Level 1 maintainers are not trained to create or maintain views.

If certain individuals also complained about the cutting on Starr King/Waumbek, South Hancock, South Carter, Moriah, Cabot, Tom, Field, East Osceola, Galehead, North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, or Passaconaway, the Forest Service's response would certainly be interesting.

But, it's important to note the recent cutting on Tecumseh has *not* contributed to the view. Something else is going on and Forest Service law enforcement is involved.

HH1
11-13-2015, 09:25 PM
FWIW, from a 2008 VFFT thread, scroll to the bottom.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?20875-Enhancing-the-view-in-Carrigan-Notch/page3

RollingRock
11-13-2015, 10:37 PM
If certain individuals also complained about the cutting on Starr King/Waumbek, South Hancock, South Carter, Moriah, Cabot, Tom, Field, East Osceola, Galehead, North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, or Passaconaway, the Forest Service's response would certainly be interesting.

What is the complaint about East Osceola? Where is it? I'm interested as I'm the trail maintainer for the Osceola Trail.

rocket21
11-14-2015, 05:21 PM
What is the complaint about East Osceola? Where is it? I'm interested as I'm the trail maintainer for the Osceola Trail.

I was referring to summit or near summit viewpoints that have had cutting in recent years (in the case of East Osceola, the view just below the summit cairn; the stumps have since aged).

Driver8
11-16-2015, 12:14 PM
In the case of Tecumseh, Moses Foster Sweetser described 360 degree views from Mt. Tecumseh in the late 1800s. That 'precedent' obviously didn't hold as time passed and the original approach from Welch-Dickey was abandoned. The current view, which was *not* chopped by the trail maintainer, matches the 'precedent' set and maintained into the 1990s.

The precedent, which you skirt past, is of hacking up the forest on viewless summits in order to open up a view. Do you support that? There are nice views pretty close to Tecumseh's summit, as I and I believe others have noted. Why the need for one right at the top?

But circling back - do you support hacking up the forest at East O's summit? Middle and South Carter? Do think the precedent set by the Tecumseh hackers is a good one - let's go hack out a wide view on all the viewless 4K summits?

And do you know who hacked up the T view for sure, and thus, by implication, who didn't? Did you witness any of it? If so, let the FS know and get your reward.

Driver8
11-16-2015, 12:17 PM
And so the trail to the summit should be maintained?

"As close as possible in such places," is the key phrase. There's no road over that wooded summit, only a footpath, and now, a hacked view. The valley where the roads run is not such a wild place. Keep the roads up, they're already built. And the footpaths are minimally intrusive. Do you support hacking up viewless, forested summits to open up a view? Should it be done for all viewless White 4K summits, worth the significant negative impact? Is T a good precedent in that regard?

I think the T clearing is highly unnecessary given the superb nearby viewpoints already opened by human intrusion, which I agree with you is, itself, natural in a sense when not excessive and heavy-handed.

Driver8
11-16-2015, 12:24 PM
I hate to even jump back into this thread but I think the primary issue (at least it was for me anyway) was that the clearing of said view was being done in violation of the law. If the people clearing the view had gone through the proper channels and received approval to create the viewpoint I would not have nearly as large of a problem with it. I'm not a fan of wide spread clearing of these views and the extensive trail work that gives trails an unnatural feel but if majority of people are in favor of it and it is done legally than I'm OK. That is how democracy works.

What I don't like is the precedent that anyone who feels the need to do whatever they want wherever they want is essentially being told to go ahead and do it becasue we don't have the time, desire or resources to enforce the law. That is a slippery slope and that is the aspect of all this I do not like. I think the primary objective of any trail work is to preserve the existing routes and keep the trails from having a negative impact on the environment when they are used (i.e erosion, etc), not make them easier to do (i.e. massive artificial stair cases and other features that belong in your backyard or downtown).

I wholly agree, DayTrip, though I'd oppose clearing a new view in the woods on a wild summit even if duly authorized by the USFS.

Driver8
11-16-2015, 12:32 PM
If certain individuals also complained about the cutting on Starr King/Waumbek, South Hancock, South Carter, Moriah, Cabot, Tom, Field, East Osceola, Galehead, North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, or Passaconaway, the Forest Service's response would certainly be interesting.

I've read complaints about some of these in this and other threads here. Not sure if they've been taken to the USFS, but they been noted here at Views.


But, it's important to note the recent cutting on Tecumseh has *not* contributed to the view. Something else is going on and Forest Service law enforcement is involved.

What recent cutting are you talking about? Several people have said, to me personally or here in these fora, that the hacking at Tecumseh, which seems to have started in June 2013 or thereabouts, has significantly widened and opened the summit view there. That's the recent cutting I think is the core subject of this thread.

Tim L. has also noted a second view opening just southeast of the summit, looking across the ski area toward Sandwich Dome, which appears to have opened up that view. Is there some other, non-view-opening cutting on T which we've not covered here? I'm confused a bit here.

rocket21
11-16-2015, 01:57 PM
The precedent, which you skirt past, is of hacking up the forest on viewless summits in order to open up a view. Do you support that? There are nice views pretty close to Tecumseh's summit, as I and I believe others have noted. Why the need for one right at the top?
What is your definition of viewless? History and science suggest much of New England was once free of vegetation, then largely vegetated, then largely cleared, and now increasingly vegetated. It's also interesting that you question the "need" of a view on the summit while being ambivalent to the "nice views" nearby, which have been maintained by humans for a much shorter time.



But circling back - do you support hacking up the forest at East O's summit? Middle and South Carter? Do think the precedent set by the Tecumseh hackers is a good one - let's go hack out a wide view on all the viewless 4K summits?
I have no issue with reasonable view maintenance, but obviously I have a problem with hack jobs.


And do you know who hacked up the T view for sure, and thus, by implication, who didn't? Did you witness any of it? If so, let the FS know and get your reward.
I suggest you re-read post 108.


"As close as possible in such places," is the key phrase. There's no road over that wooded summit, only a footpath, and now, a hacked view. The valley where the roads run is not such a wild place. Keep the roads up, they're already built.
If you do a little research, you'll see that, in the lifetime of some members on this site, there was a fire control swath cut over the summit, and, during the lifetime of many members on this site, there were logging and skid roads that came fairly close to the summit. By this logic, perhaps the Forest Service should start maintaining those again?


I've read complaints about some of these in this and other threads here. Not sure if they've been taken to the USFS, but they been noted here at Views.
I suggest you re-read post 108.




What recent cutting are you talking about?
Cutting in 2015 which involves the sign that spawned this thread.



Several people have said, to me personally or here in these fora, that the hacking at Tecumseh, which seems to have started in June 2013 or thereabouts, has significantly widened and opened the summit view there.
That is incorrect; I suggest you re-read post 3.

Driver8
11-16-2015, 04:51 PM
Well, Randy, I admire your energy and intensity. For all your effort in the most recent post, though, you don't answer the simple question: where is the "recent cutting" to which you referred earlier? At the summit? Somewhere else?

rocket21
11-17-2015, 04:42 AM
Well, Randy, I admire your energy and intensity. For all your effort in the most recent post, though, you don't answer the simple question: where is the "recent cutting" to which you referred earlier? At the summit? Somewhere else?

Brad, I suggest you re-read posts 1 and 3. The signage and cutting relate to the summit of Mt. Tecumseh.

Raven
11-17-2015, 04:42 AM
Hale has a beautiful, expansive view from the summit.

One simply needs to look up.

:)

Driver8
11-17-2015, 02:58 PM
Brad, I suggest you re-read posts 1 and 3. The signage and cutting relate to the summit of Mt. Tecumseh.

Who's Brad? I read those posts, per your suggestion, among many, in your dozen-or-so answer post. Wasn't clear to me, hence the question. Thanks for the continued dialog. Learning!

Becca M
11-17-2015, 04:40 PM
And who is Randy????? :) These real or fake names are so confusing....

Raymond
11-17-2015, 05:33 PM
I suspect that Driver8 confused Rocket21 with Sierra, and, not realizing that, Rocket21 chose a name at random for Driver 8.

But I could be wrong.

sierra
11-17-2015, 05:52 PM
And who is Randy????? :) These real or fake names are so confusing....

My name is Randy, but I opted out of this thread awhile back, due to well, some of the responses, just well, made no sense to me. I will be on Tecumseh later this week, enjoying the view though.

Driver8
11-18-2015, 11:55 PM
I suspect that Driver8 confused Rocket21 with Sierra, and, not realizing that, Rocket21 chose a name at random for Driver 8.

But I could be wrong.

Bingo! Chuckle. Guilty as charged, Anthony. ;)

Becca M
11-21-2015, 08:40 PM
I finally got up Tecumseh today after a LONG hiatus. We went from Welch/Dickey up to Foss & Green to Tecumseh. We couldn't help but notice how HUGE the artificially-cleared communications tower area was.....and how it's always been that way.....

crickets..... :)