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Weeks Act Celebrated in Free Summer Program Series at Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center

NORTH CONWAY, NH—July 11, 2011—In 1911, the Weeks Act was passed in Congress. Heralded as one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation ever passed, it has helped to protect nearly 20 million acres of forestland, including our beloved White Mountain National Forest. Mount Washington Observatory will celebrate the centennial of this landmark legislation with a special Tuesday night lecture series running for six consecutive weeks this July and August. All programs are completely free of charge and will be held at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in downtown North Conway.

The White Mountain National Forest has a remarkable impact on our region’s environment and economy. It is a source of wood for local mills, providing lumber, cordwood, pulp, and chemicals. The Forest is home to several Alpine and Nordic ski areas, providing recreation for visitors and employment opportunities for local communities. Hikers, backpackers, and roadside campers enjoy recreation on the Forest year-round. Hunters and anglers visit the Forest in their pursuits, as do those who prefer to simply watch the wonders of wildlife. The Forest also serves as a source for clean water for local communities, and beyond, and contributes positively to our air quality. Special areas in the Forest set aside as Wilderness provide natural laboratories and opportunities for primitive experience of nature. All these benefits are possible for us today because many forward-thinking citizens supported the Weeks Act one hundred years ago.

What can we learn about the creation and impact of the Weeks Act that is important for us today? What about this Forest’s history can inform us to better shape it for our future? This summer, the Mount Washington Observatory Weeks Act Centennial Lecture Series will explore the past, present and future of the White Mountain National Forest with six experts on these topics, presented in Tuesday evening programs at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, 2779 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, New Hampshire. All lectures begin at 7:00pm, and are free and open to the public.

Here’s the exciting line-up:

Tuesday, July 12
Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More, Brown University
The Impact of North Country Community and Collaboration in the Weeks Act of 1911

Tuesday, July 19
Tom Wagner, White Mountain National Forest
100 Years of Public Land Management: The White Mountain National Forest

Tuesday, July 26
Mark Okrant, Director of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, Plymouth State University
Two Centuries of Tourism in the White Mountains: A Region Comes Full Circle

Tuesday, August 2
David Govatski, U.S. Forest Service, retired; Board of Directors, whitemountainhistory.org
The Weeks Act and the Creation of the White Mountain National Forest

Tuesday, August 9
Linda Upham-Bornstein, Center for Rural Partnerships, Plymouth State University
Working Forests: From Market Revolution to Industrialization

Tuesday, August 16
Marcia Schmidt Blaine, Plymouth State University
Saving the Mountains: Joseph B. Walker, Phillip Ayers, and the Weeks Act of 1911

The series is presented by the Mount Washington Observatory and its Gladys Brooks Memorial Library, with the cooperation of the Center for Rural Partnerships, Plymouth State University, and in partnership with North Conway Public Library, the Conway Historical Society, the Jackson Historical Society and the Bartlett Historical Society.

Generous support for the series has been provided by the New Hampshire Humanities Council, with additional support from The Pequawket Foundation Advised Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

For more information about the Weeks Act Centennial Lecture Series, call (603) 356-2137 x 203, or visit MountWashington.org/Events.

Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit, membership-supported research and educational institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been observing Mount Washington’s incredible extremes, conducting scientific research, educating the public about the science of weather and climate and amassing one of North America’s longest and most unique climate records. For weather reports, webcams, photos and more, visit MountWashington.org.

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