July 2020 decision on WMNF Wanosha Integrated Resource Project


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Jan 8, 2015
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Essex Co., Mass.
I don’t recall that the WMNF Wanosha Integrated Resource Project, first proposed in 2017, has been discussed on this forum. Since a decision to move forward on most of this project was made in July, 2020, I thought it would be of interest here.

Relevant links are:


A summary of the project follows:

Smarts Brook Mountain Bike Trail--Establish a mountain biking trail network and associated parking at Smarts Brook

Campton and Waterville Valley Campgrounds --- Conduct overstory thinning at both campgrounds, focused on removing hazardous vegetation and creating canopy gaps-- Redesign the Waterville Valley Campground

Welch-Dickey Trailhead Parking Lot --- Reconfigure trailhead parking lot to accommodate about 75 passenger vehicles

Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat Management -- Conduct commercial and non-commercial treatments: About 5,000 acres of stands, with 3,400 acres within those stands proposed for silvicultural treatment. This would involve a mix of clearcutting, improvement cuts, timber stand improvement, and thinning in the Brown Ash Swamp, the north slopes of Fisher, Hogback, and Green Mountains to Hazelton Brook, and the north slope of Cone and Dickey Mountains, all accessed via Mill Brook Road in Thornton. The short name for this is “the Fisher Mountain Sale”.

In the July 27, 2020 Decision Notice, all aspects of this plan were moved forward into implementation with the following exceptions:

“Phase 2” of the Smarts Brook MTB trails; although I don’t see the phases defined anywhere; and the Fisher Mountain Sale.

They will issue a second decision at a later date for proposed activities included in the Fisher Mountain sale area. They state that “the intent in deferring a decision on the Fisher Mountain sale is to allow for continued governmental discussions with the Town of Thornton regarding perennial road-related safety concerns.”

There are long and interesting sections in the Decision Notice on the history of both the Smarts Brook MTB trails and the logging in the Mill Brook/ Hazelton Brook area.