US Forest Service will go ahead with logging around NH’s Lake Tarleton

Elaine Faletra, of Warren, N.H., walks through the woods along the edge of Lake Tarleton in Piermont, N.H., on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. The White Mountain National Forest has put forward a plan to mange the forest around Lake Tarleton in order to sustainably harvest timber and increase forest health and diversity. The proposal includes several management actions including sections of clear cutting, group selection and thinning. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Elaine Faletra, of Warren, N.H., walks through the woods along the edge of Lake Tarleton in Piermont, N.H., on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. The White Mountain National Forest has put forward a plan to mange the forest around Lake Tarleton in order to sustainably harvest timber and increase forest health and diversity. The proposal includes several management actions including sections of clear cutting, group selection and thinning. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

By FRANCES MIZE

Valley News

Published: 11-16-2023 5:28 PM

PIERMONT — The U.S. Forest Service is moving ahead with plans to log in the Lake Tarleton area. The project has drawn opposition from residents and advocacy groups since it was introduced to the public in 2019.

Management actions for habitat, vegetation and recreation have been approved to occur within about 755 acres of land owned by the forest service, some of which surrounds Lake Tarleton, located in the towns of Piermont and Warren, N.H.

Tarleton is a large lake in the White Mountains. It’s home to the Kingswood Camp for Boys, three private residences, seasonal camps and two public access points.

“While taking no action would allow the natural successional processes to continue, it would not advance the goals and objectives of the forest plan for which I am charged to implement,” USFS Pemigewasset District Ranger Brooke Brown wrote in her decision, released to the public on Monday.

Among changes made to the project since its inception include the extension of a no-cut buffer along the lake from 100 to 300 feet and the reduction of forestry activities, including clearcutting, from 880 to 690 acres. Brown noted that both of these modifications came as a result of public comments.

“We are deeply disappointed that the forest service has ignored the public and decided to proceed with the (project) as proposed,” wrote Zack Porter, director of Standing Trees, a Montpelier-based nonprofit working to protect Vermont’s forests, in a statement to the Valley News.

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“This decision is a betrayal of the agency’s promise to this community that Lake Tarleton and its stunning surroundings would be preserved forever.”

According to the forest service’s decision, the project is expected to begin summer 2024.

Frances Mize is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at fmize@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.