Plans to use new 'forestscaping' technique to reinforce public awareness of Forest Society role in conserving The Mountain.

Jack Savage | April 1, 2016

Jaffrey, NH-- APRIL 1 -- The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire forests plans to use an innovative new technique to remind people of its long history of land protection on Mount Monadnock.

"Our work conserving Mount Monadock, one of the world's most climbed mountains, has been ongoing for more than a century now," said Jack Savage, the organization's VP for Communications. "And in fact we own more than 4,000 acres on the Mountain, including the summit, making it the largest of our more than 185 Forest Reservations."

That said, few of the more than 100,000 people a year who climb the Mountain recognize the Forest Society's role. The Forest Society leases much of its land on Monadnock to the State to be managed as part of Monadnock State Park.

To heighten awareness of the Forest Society's long-time involvement in conserving Monadnock, the 115-year-old land trust plans to "forestscape" a large version of its logo on the western slope of the mountain.

"Mount Monadnock is our signature Forest Reservation," Savage said. "With careful cutting, we can create a landscape-scale logo visible and recognizable for 10 miles or more. We anticipate that it also will be highly visible by pilots and passengers on planes making their approach to Manchester airport."

With GIS-based geo-referenced cutting plan, foresters and loggers will map out a 72-acre rectangle on one side of the mountain.

"Within that rectangle, we'll carefully select our cuts in a way that will outline the Forest Society's well-known 'tree' logo," said George Frame, Senior Director of Forestry at the Forest Society. "It should be an interesting forestry exercise."

While such "forest-scaping" is a relatively new concept, it stands out as a potential revenue source for large-scale landowners willing to sell rights to a "natural billboard" on their land.

"Forest landowners are always looking for creative ways to generate revenue while keeping forests as forests," Savage said. "Forest-scaping holds promise in that regard."

Forest-scaping experts note that there are limitations to the amount of detail that can be made visible. For example, the Forest Society will not attempt to spell out "Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests" within the forest-scaped logo.

"The approach is a lot like printing, in that each tree canopy is like a dot of ink,” Savage said. “The canopy of each tree is a dot of color, and the logo elements are recreated at the equivalent of 150dpi.”

“We are going to experiment a little," Frame said, "to see if we can re-route a section of trail to spell out the words "Since 1901", just like it appears on some versions of our logo."

Re-creating the precise colors of the logo present an additional challenge.

"Typically we rely on natural regeneration following a harvest," Frame explained. "In this case we may try re-planting instead--perhaps the background of the logo can be approximated with blue spruce."

"But there are limits," Frame acknowledged. "Foliage doesn't always follow a designer's color palette and we are unwilling to go the extent of manipulating soil nutrients in order to force leaf color variations like some forest-scapers have attempted. We’re not going to treat the forest like an Easter Egg."

Anticipating potential controversy over the branding effort, Savage said, "As a forestry organization we manage our lands in an active, sustainable way. Well planned harvests are a part of that. And while this particular harvest includes an added an unusual forestscaping outcome in support of our conservation mission and our brand, it nonetheless fits within our overall forest management plan for Monadnock."

Savage said that the Forest Society would not be actively maintaining the openings that will delineate the components of the logo.

"For us, it's a temporary exercise and we will allow regrowth to occur," Savage said.

The Forest Society will work on the project over the next 12 months, and plans to have the forest-scaped logo ready in a year's time.

"April 1st is a good target date for projects like this," Savage said.

Mount Monadnock is one of 185 Forest Reservations conserved and owned by the Forest Society. Information about Forest Society lands can be found via the online Forest Reservation guide at