Southern Appalachian Brook Trout spawn in the Fall when brightly colored males court females, who dig nests known as redds in clean streambed gravels. (Copyright photo courtesy Freshwaters Illustrated/Dave Herasimtschuk)
For a community of brook trout in the southern Appalachian mountains, there are signs that the good times are coming back. To some, these native inhabitants might even appear to be waving a welcome home sign.
Their numbers almost vanquished, they are as much a cultural emblem of these rugged and lush mountain forests as they are an important signal for the highest quality drinking water. This is what makes their fate of such interest to the millions who live in the surrounding watersheds and to those involved in an inspiring partnership to help them along. They are also the subject of a new film, “Bringing Back the Brooks: Reviving the South’s Trout” produced by Freshwaters Illustrated in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Read more »
Driving along the Kancamagus Highway on White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, N.H.
The Weeks Act 100-mile Legacy Trail has recently been unveiled as a virtual self-guided driving tour of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The tour is named after the watershed conservation legislation of 1911 known as the Weeks Act that led to the creation of national forests east of the Mississippi River. Read more »
The Hapgood Pond Recreation Area on the Green Mountain National Forest displays its fall foliage splendor.
Approximately 200 people joined employees of the Green Mountain National Forest at the Fall Foliage Festival to celebrate the centennial of the Weeks Act in Warren, Vt. Oct. 2. Read more »
The legacy of the Weeks Act is shown by looking at photos of the White Mountain National Forest a century apart. Nearly a 100 years later after being decimated by logging, this photo depicts a healthy restored forest at the same location.
The Weeks Act, which went into effect on March 1, 1911, has been identified as one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in American history.
In the early 1900s the public began to embrace a more proactive attitude toward conserving public lands. Just the year before, in 1910, Gifford Pinchot started the Forest Service. Before the Weeks Act, lands set aside for conservation were all located in the West and were created from large blocks of land in the public domain. Millions of acres of bare, eroded lands dotted the Eastern states from cut-over and farmed-out lands. In the West, the epic wildfires of 1910 fueled support for the Act. Read more »