2007 Cottrell/Baldwin Lecture Series Kicks off in Hillsborough

March 6, 2007


Amanda Nickerson, Communications Specialist
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
(603) 224-9945, ext. 301


The Amazing Tale of Stoddard’s Scenic Highland Lake Kicks off Series

Hillsborough, N.H., March 5, 2007—The town of Stoddard is a pretty wild place these days. Not only is more than half the town permanently set aside as conservation land, but its unique history has as many highs and lows as its scenic landscape. You can hear all about it on Tuesday, March 13 from 7 to 8:30 pm at Fox State Forest in Hillsborough. In the first presentation of the 2007 Cottrell/Baldwin Lecture Series, forester and Stoddard resident Geoff Jones will present “Highland Lake: The Short Story of a Long Pond.” Fritz Wetherbee, author and former host of “New Hampshire Crossroads” provides narration for the multi-media presentation, which tells the tale of how this corner of Cheshire County fared at the hands of shepherds, lumberjacks, fishing guides, hydropower utilities, and vacation home developers through today.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands are co-sponsoring the series. For more information, please call 603-224-9945 or visit www.forestsociety.org.

Jones, who wrote and produced the presentation, grew up roaming Stoddard’s rugged highlands. He became fascinated by how the area’s woodlands evolved and by the many individuals who helped shape its destiny. As a forester, Jones was particularly intrigued by the legacy of Christopher Robb who started the Stoddard Lumber Company back in 1853. “Robb was a pioneer in more ways than one,” says Jones. “At a time when much of New Hampshire was being clear-cut by ruthless lumberman, Robb thought the forest should be managed as carefully as a wheat-field or orchard or vineyard.” This roots of this stewardship ethic spread throughout the region, culminating in the protection of tens of thousands of contiguous acres of open space today.

Consequently, this still-wild landscape of water, woods, and mountain is now much sought after by both vacationers and residents of New Hampshire. “Many people don’t realize that most of the actual land protection took place just in the last 30 years,” notes Jones. “But it was thanks to people like Christopher Robb that we had such well-managed land to conserve.” Jones will conclude his presentation with an update on new conservation efforts that in many ways pay tribute to this founding father.

The Cottrell/Baldwin Lecture Series will continue on Tuesday, March 27th with a presentation by Sarah Smith from the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension. She will discuss the aftermath of the Hurricane of 1938 and how, with World War II unfolding, it was left to a group of Concord, NH women to help salvage logs left in the storm’s wake.

On Tuesday, April 10th, the Great Marlow Fire of 1941 — a direct result of the same hurricane — will be the topic. Historian and producer Tracy Messer will present his documentary about this remarkable conflagration that burned across 24,000 acres in three days, without the loss of one human life.

The Cottrell/Baldwin Environmental Lecture Series at Fox State Forest honors the environmental, conservation, and scholarly legacies of the late conservationists Annette and Bill Cottrell and the late state forester Henry Baldwin. The series is proudly co-sponsored by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, and is held annually at Fox State Forest in Hillsborough.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. In order to preserve the quality of life New Hampshire residents know today, the goal of the Forest Society, in partnership with other conservation organizations, private landowners, and government, is to conserve an additional one million acres of the state’s most significant natural lands for trails, parks, farms and forests by 2026.