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Draft horses pull old bridges from Pemigewasset Wilderness

It’s been nearly 100 years since draft horses were commonly used in the White Mountain National Forest, but they made a successful return recently to haul away parts of two dismantled bridges.

Federal rules prohibit the use of power tools and motors within designated wilderness areas, so forest officials instead turned to the Draft Animal Power Network, a nonprofit group that includes farmers, loggers and others interested in using animals to support local communities and economies.

The bridges, located six miles into the Pemigewasset Wilderness, were taken down because of safety concerns in 2009 and 2010. Forest officials have been removing the pieces ever since, but it took two teams of draft horses to remove the 16 900-pound steel beams late last month.

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