Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
Skiing Turns Through the Timber: Cutting a Trail toward
Multi-Use, Ecological Forestry
Christopher L. Pastore*
Abstract - This paper examines the role of downhill skiing in the development of American
forestry practices. By focusing on the state of New Hampshire, where foresters carved
some of America’s first ski slopes in the 1930s, this paper shows how forest management
practices were mutually constitutive with this new form of recreation. A closer look at the
papers of Henry Ives Baldwin and other New Hampshire foresters who endeavored to integrate
forestry practices with ski trail development challenges the notion that skiing simply
brought about an environmental “downhill slide”. Rather, it shows that the skiing foresters
were particularly sensitive to mountain ecology and anticipated the development of “multiuse”
forestry well before federal forest recreation policies were codified in 1960. In the
process, they made important contributions to the emerging science of winter.
A scientist with the New Hampshire Forestry and Recreation Department, Henry
Ives Baldwin, explained in a short article he published in 1937 that “the aims of forestry
work in the Northeast are entirely in harmony with skiing.” For Baldwin, who
held a Ph.D. in botany and a M.S. in forestry from Yale University and published
widely on trees and skiing during the first half of the 20th century, timber harvesting
and winter recreation were compatible and even complementary. “Conifers in
general grow faster,” he wrote, “find a readier market, and yield a greater profit
than hardwoods in northern New England. They are softer and more pleasant to fall
into than hardwoods as every ski-runner knows. Skiing through young spruces and
firs is more pleasant than hardwood sprouts and bushes” (Baldwin 1937a:5). Strategically
planted evergreens, in other words, at once increased timber production
and recreational opportunities, thereby improving the bottom line. The new and
growing sport of skiing, he believed, was mutually constitutive with the efforts of
early 20th-century foresters, who were starting to redefine the purpose of America’s
An economic pragmatist, ecological tinkerer, and consummate outdoorsman,
Baldwin sought to square his faith in scientific management with his recreational
interests. As a forester trained during the Progressive Era, he sought efficiency in
the production of timber. But as a botanist, he was carefully attuned to the ecological
changes that followed. His enthusiasm for alpine skiing encouraged him to
develop tree and groundcover planting schemes that provided skiers with the most
enjoyment and the longest season. If, as some critics have charged, the introduction
of skiing to American mountains sparked an environmental “powder keg” that
*Department of History, University at Albany, State University of New York, Social Science
145, Albany, NY 12222; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manuscript Editor: Andrew Denning
Winter Ecology: Insights from Biology and History
2017 Northeastern Naturalist 24(Special Issue 7):H22–H44
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
triggered an ecological “downhill slide”, a closer look at Baldwin and his work in
New Hampshire, where foresters carved some of America’s first ski slopes, reveals
that long before the development of resource-intensive modern ski resorts, forest
managers were mindful of mountain ecology, not least because the skiers among
them were carefully attuned to the contours of mountain landscapes (Allen 1993,
1997, 2007; Childers 2012; Clifford 2002; Coleman 2004; Denning 2014, 2015; Fry
2006; Harrison 2003; Lund et al. 1982; Philpott 2013; Rothman 1 998).1
Although the history of American forestry and its relationship with forest tourism
is well documented, most studies focus on the post-World War II era (Clary
1986; Cox et al. 1985; Dombeck et al. 2003; Fedkiw 2003; Frome 1984; Hays 1959,
2007; Langston 1996; Miller 1997; Robbins 1985; Steen 1992; Williams 2005). It
was then that increased affluence and the post-war population boom spurred interest
in outdoor recreation (Steen 1976). Not until the 1950s did the US Forest Service
adopt a systematic approach to managing recreation in national forests (Lewis
2005). And it was not until 1960 that the Multiple Use–Sustainable Yield Act officially
codified outdoor recreation (alongside timber, wildlife, range, and water) as
one of 5 uses for national forests (Steen 1976). For these reasons, forest historians
concerned with outdoor recreation have largely overlooked the first half of the century.
They have also tended to focus their attention on federal-level policy (Fausold
1961; McGeary 1960; Robbins 1985; Steen 1976, 1992).2 This paper, conversely,
looks beyond government documents to examine the ways individual foresters
shaped forest management strategies. It examines how forestry practices were actually
implemented on the ground, engaging with the ideas and experiments of those
who spent their days tramping—or in this case skiing—through the woods. A closer
look at New Hampshire, where state and federal foresters had long fostered collaborative
relationships with local stakeholders, reveals the extent to which community
concerns set the terms of mountain management (Gregg 2010, House 1940, Johnson
and Govatski 2013).3 Close focus on the formative years of American forestry (the
early 20th century), moreover, reveals that winter recreation influenced American
forestry practices more broadly.
Indeed, Baldwin’s efforts anticipated the development of “multi-use” and “ecological”
forestry decades before these concepts became official policy. “The subject
of ski trail ecology,” he wrote in 1937, “has hardly been scratched, although our skis
and knuckles have” (Baldwin 1937b:5–6). As his writings reveal, Baldwin became
deeply invested in creating mountain landscapes that harmonized a human presence
with the production of marketable timber. Acknowledging new economic pressures
and embracing a growing interest in outdoor pleasures, Baldwin and his colleagues
endeavored to create a new but sustainable ecological regime in the mountains of New
Hampshire. Although the patterns of mountain management in the East would morph
to meet different demands in the West, the synergy between forestry and ski slope
development in New Hampshire did much to shape the contemporary understanding
of forest resources, thereby adding to the conversation about how public lands would
be used in the future. The careful observations of Baldwin’s fraternity of foresters and
skiers also informed early inquiry into the science of winter. In sum, winter recreation
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reshaped New Hampshire’s mountain ecology and introduced, at least in small ways,
new forms of winter knowledge and new modes of forest management.
Skiing’s Start in New England
Downhill skiing arrived within a decade of New England’s first national forest
in 1918, but cross-country skiing had been around much longer. First introduced
to America in the middle of the 19th century, skiing supplied a mode of rural transportation
for Scandinavian immigrants. Norwegians were known to hunt deer from
skis. Mailmen covered their routes atop similar waxed wooden planks. And in New
Sweden, ME, immigrant children slipped through the streets to and from school
(Allen 1993). Native-born Americans were soon drawn to this Nordic mode of
winter transportation. By 1909, when Dartmouth student Fred Harris founded the
Dartmouth Outing Club, the first club of its type in the United States, skiing had
garnered a collegiate following. In 1911, the club held its first Winter Carnival,
which staged the first formal collegiate ski race; two years later at Shawbridge, QC,
Canada, Dartmouth and McGill competed in the first intercollegiate event (Proctor
1937). These early races, Henry Ives Baldwin later noted, “follow[ed] no predetermined
route … and [were] often laid through woods with no trail other than colored
streamers tied to tree branches” (Baldwin 1939). Skiers simply slipped through a
forest that required minimal alteration.
Not all forms of early ski competition were so subtle. Ski jumping, which had
accompanied early cross-country competitions, had, by the turn of the 20th century,
developed into a separate event. Because many towns, especially in the Midwest, did
not have hills, they built their own jumping slopes. By the early 1920s, skiers began
constructing jumps in the White Mountains (Allen 1997, “Dartmouth Wins Events on
Snow” 1924). This surely added new excitement to ski competitions, but by the end
of the 1920s, ski jumps also marked a change in skiing’s relationship to its mountain
environment. Staged competitions no longer emphasized a skier’s ability to navigate
the natural contours of the forest. Rather, purpose-built slopes physically removed
jumping from the mountain itself. Increasingly, this form of skiing depended on a
constructed mountain landscape, changes that were not immune to criticism. Although
jumping attracted large crowds and brought skiing into the limelight, some
skiers, particularly officials in the National Ski Association, saw the shift from a
sport that had emphasized physical fitness and a communion with nature to one that
required extensive alterations to the mountain environment as a dangerous departure
from tradition (Allen 1993). Cross-country skiing remained popular, but experiments
with jumping led to a more environmentally intrusive ski style. In time, a few fluttering
ribbons gave way to hammers, shovels, and saws.
The new “downhill”, “slalom”, or “Arlberg” style of skiing likewise changed the
sport’s relationship with the mountain landscape. Developed in the Austrian Alps
just after the turn of the century and refined in the 1910s and early 1920s, this new
form of skiing involved dashing downhill in a crouched position holding a pole in
each hand. Alpine skiing soon gained a following among Dartmouth skiers after
2 of them were introduced to European ski trends at the 1924 and 1928 Winter
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
Olympic Games in Chamonix, France, and St. Moritz, Switzerland.4 In April 1927,
Dartmouth held the first organized downhill race in the United States on the Mt.
Moosilauke Carriage Road in Lincoln, NH (Proctor 1937). Although this race was
held on a preexisting trail and required little alteration to the landscape, the trail
was narrow, winding, and potentially hazardous, which spurred discussion about
mountain development (Hooke 1987). In that same year, the Appalachian Mountain
Club began building the 20-mile Wapack Trail in southern New Hampshire (Ski
Bulletin 1935). Although the trail was largely designed for cross-country skiing, it
was nevertheless the first purpose-built ski trail in North America. In 1929, Peckett’s-
on-Sugar-Hill, a hotel at Franconia Notch, NH, opened a ski school, and its
owner, Robert Peckett Sr., and his daughter, Katharine, laid the groundwork for the
first “down-mountain” ski trail in New England, the Richard Taft Trail on Cannon
Mountain (Leich 2004). Protecting private lands by placing them in public hands,
the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests also played an important
role in fostering White Mountain recreation. During the late 1920s, the Society
raised $200,000 to protect forests in Franconia Notch (near Cannon Mountain)
and secured more than 22,000 acres of forest in Waterville Valley, which was later
transferred to White Mountain National Forest (House 1940).
Soon European ski instructors began to relocate to New Hampshire ski villages.
Otto Schniebs established a ski school that trained Appalachian Mountain
Club members. The world-renowned Austrian instructor Hannes Schneider set up
a ski school in North Conway (Fry 2006). Kurt Thalhammer, Sig Buchmayr, and
Michael Feursinger worked at Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill near Cannon Mountain
(Leich 2004, 2005). With their thick accents, Tyrolean hats, and strict, regimented
style of instruction, the ski meisters imbued American skiing with a sense of Old
World gravitas. But they also imported a style of skiing that had grown out of a
mountain landscape wholly different from that of northern New England. The Alps
of the Austrian Arlberg region and specifically near St. Anton, where many of the
ski meisters had honed their skills, towered over 3353 m (11,000 ft), and most of
the skiing was above the tree line. Trails typically stretched hundreds of meters
(hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet) in every direction with few trees as
obstacles. But the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Green Mountains of
Vermont were blanketed in forest, which often made ski instruction (both teaching
and learning) difficult. Upon arriving in Stowe, VT, Austrian instructor Sepp
Ruschp demanded trees be cleared from the slopes (Allen 1993). When Hannes
Schneider surveyed New Hampshire he was said to have gazed upon the towering,
treeless peak of Mt. Washington with wide eyes, asking, “Is that my mountain?” Mt.
Washington had not yet been developed, so he was surely crestfallen when he was
told the heavily timbered Mount Cranmore nearby would be his new home.
Elevation made all the difference. Between 1929 and 1939, a snow-survey station
at Pinkham Notch (610 m [2000 ft] elevation), an important ski center in the
heart of the White Mountains, recorded snow cover deeper than 13 cm (5 inches)
for between 12 and 16 weeks per year. The snowiest months were February and
March, when on average the Notch was buried under 71 to 94 cm (28 to 37 inches)
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of snow (Carlson 1942). In Switzerland, which has some of the best long-term
Alpine meteorological records, the amount and duration of snow coverage was
roughly comparable to that of the White Mountains. The slopes that held similar
snow cover, however, were located between 1500 and 1740 m (4900 and 5700
ft), more than double that of Pinkham Notch and much higher than many of New
Hampshire’s tallest ski mountains (Beniston 2012). The high-alpine regions of
the Swiss and Austrian Alps were mostly treeless, and subalpine forests had been
logged (most likely for mining) since the medieval period, leaving broad swaths of
mountain terrain only sparsely dotted with Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), and Larix
(larch) (Tranquillini 1979). Although climate change has altered the distribution of
tree species among the hills of central New Hampshire over the course of the 20th
century, the White Mountains were blanketed with Abies (fir), spruce, Fraxinus
(ash), and Betula (birch), and at lower elevations where many early ski runs ended,
Acer (maple) and Fagus (beech) trees (Leak and Yamasaki 2012). Treeline elevation
is affected by numerous variables, including, among others, slope angle, soil
type, temperature, and light and water availability, but recent studies show that
the timberline stretches from roughly 1100 to 1700 m (3600 feet to 5500 ft) in the
Presidential Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains (Kimball and Weihrauch
2000), but in Europe extends from 1800 to 2200 m (5900 to 7200 ft) in the Austrian
Tyrol and upwards of 2500 m (8200 ft) in Switzerland (Körner 1998). In sum, European
skiers spent much of their time schussing above the tree line, whereas New
Hampshire’s skiers had to pick their way through a landscaped forest.
Imposing a high-alpine landscape on New England’s comparatively low-lying,
tree-covered hills required environmental modifications. But foresters, especially
those like Baldwin who sought to establish skiing in New England, believed it could
be accomplished sustainably. On the back of a postcard showing an aerial photograph
of Zellerhuten, Austria, a mountain village 113 km (70 mi) east of Salzburg,
Baldwin wrote, “forestry and skiing combined in Lower Austria. The temporary
clearings furnish good skiing. The forest gives shelter from wind” (Baldwin n.d. a)
That Baldwin purchased and saved a postcard showing downhill skiing’s connection
to and compatibility with Austrian forestry practices suggests he was looking
for ways to implement a similar interdependent system in New Hampshire. Recognizing
that windswept landscapes are susceptible to snow erosion, winter ecologists
have shown that intermittent stands of conifers break the wind and encourage snow
deposition. Snow scientists have also shown that among narrow clearings, such as
those that Baldwin identified in the postcard, snow accumulation can be higher than
that of the surrounding forest (Jones et al. 2001). To Baldwin’s mind, cutting timber
and clearing ski trails was a win–win situation.
He was, however, acutely aware that New England’s dense mountain forests
posed particular aesthetic challenges. “The objection to large scars on mountain
sides from the scenic standpoint,” he wrote, “will probably restrict cutting on
slopes steep enough for good skiing on public forests in New England where
smooth, unbroken forested hillsides are the traditional landscape. In Germany and
Austria”, he continued, “this is not so. Active logging operations are in progress
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
in much of the most popular ski country, and the mountains are a patchwork of
various geometric patterns resulting from clear-cutting spruce forest. The cuttings
are replanted but for many years are excellent skiing” (Baldwin 1937a:5). As historian
Andrew Denning has shown, Europeans during the interwar period valorized
modernization among Alpine environments, which were in the decades after 1930
transformed into “organic machine[s] of leisure” (Denning 2014, 2015). But New
England ski trail designers, like American park architects, faced the difficult job of
molding mountain terrain while preserving an uncultivated appearance (Sax 1980).
Although ski runs had grown longer and wider to provide obstruction-free skiing,
skiers likely would have recoiled if confronted with a total abandonment of the
natural New England mountain landscape.
Skiing and Forestry
It was not just aesthetic concerns that hampered ski trail development in the
United States, for Baldwin also explained there was a lack of expertise. “Unfortunately
very few foresters in charge of administering public forests are enthusiastic
ski-runners”, he explained, “and with few exceptions, either east or west, have made
a serious study of the sport. … [D]esigners of ski trails should have considerable forestry
knowledge in order to choose their routes wisely, and cut future expenses for
maintenance” (Baldwin 1937a:5). Baldwin’s appeal acknowledged that the practice
of forestry was changing. During the first decades of the 20th century, foresters had
largely focused their efforts on timber production and watershed protection (Hays
2007). With publication of the 1933 National Plan for American Forestry (also
known as the Copeland Report), the Forest Service recognized that its responsibilities
had expanded to include, among other duties, timber production, wildlife protection,
fire suppression, range management, and recreation (Steen 1976). If, as Baldwin
contended, foresters with ski experience were few and far between, the profession
nevertheless had begun to accept that forest managers needed diverse skills and specialized
knowledge of the many pressures forests faced.
As private lands were increasingly placed under public management during the
1930s, foresters responded. One of the most contentious claims of the Copeland
Report was that privately owned forests were prone to environmentally destructive
practices. To counteract this trend, the report recommended a sweeping expansion
of public lands and personnel to manage them. Partisans of private ownership,
most notably stockmen, were outraged at the notion that they needed government
guidance (Steen 1976). Although timber trade associations maneuvered to protect
industry rights, many private lumber companies had since the early 1920s collaborated
with federal foresters to create more sustainable harvesting practices (Case
1944, Robbins 1982). In some cases, foresters had even privileged private prerogatives
(Goodman 1939). But in New Hampshire where the “continued denudation of
the White Mountains” raised alarm among local residents, the trend was, in keeping
with the Copeland Report’s recommendation, to transfer private lands to public
control (House 1940), thereby giving foresters greater latitude to manage mountain
slopes as they saw fit.
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Since, as Baldwin noted, most foresters had limited skiing experience, they began
to share the process of locating and designing down-mountain trails on public
lands with expert skiers who often lacked formal forestry training. In some cases,
trained foresters took the lead in these partnerships. In 1932, for instance, Forest
Service forester and avid skier Robert Monahan, a graduate of Dartmouth (1929)
and later Yale Forestry School (1931), teamed up with Appalachian Mountain Club
Hut Master and expert skier Joe Dodge to lay plans for the Tuckerman’s Ravine ski
trail on Mt. Washington. Dodge enlisted AMC members to do the scutwork. “[W]e
can surely get some volunteer work to swamp out the route to the ravine”, wrote
Dodge (1932:2) to Monahan, “if the Forest Service will only spot it out where they
want it to go. It would only require swamping to make it a good ski trail into the
ravine”. By the end of 1932, the AMC and the Forest Service had collaborated to
construct a narrow fire trail from Pinkham Notch to Hermit Lake Hut, now called
the Tuckerman Ravine Trail (Chalufour 2014). As Dodge’s letter indicates, the Forest
Service charted the location of the trail, while AMC volunteers provided the
labor. The fire trail was “skiable”, and later became the route of a popular daredevil
race from the top of Tuckerman’s Ravine to Pinkham Notch.
In other cases, laymen with specialized knowledge of skiing led these partnerships.
In 1933, for instance, New Hampshire attorney John P. Carleton, an AMC
member and expert skier, wrote to fellow club member and skier William P. Fowler,
an attorney in Boston, that “Mr. [James E.] Scott,” the supervisor of White Mountain
National Forest, was “friendly toward the general plan of having ski trails cut
in the National Forests.” “All he wants,” Carleton (1933:1) continued, “is direction
or supervision by someone who knows what the trails should be like.” Carleton
recognized that the Forest Service’s willingness to solicit his help provided the
AMC with “the opportunity of a lifetime” to expand recreation in New Hampshire’s
mountains (Carleton 1933:1). A few days later Fowler received a letter from the
New Hampshire State Development Commission requesting his presence at a meeting
of officials from White Mountain National Forest, the State Forestry Office, and
the newly established Civilian Conservation Corps, to discuss ski trail construction
(Tuttle 1933). Over the next year, Fowler worked closely with government officials
and foresters, including Baldwin, to build ski trails on New Hampshire’s public
lands (Baldwin 1992, Carleton 1934).
Many of these working relationships were established and strengthened through
longstanding personal connections. Listed in Baldwin’s self-published autobiography,
the charter members of the “Old Carriage-Road Runners”, a group of skiers
who had raced together on Mt. Moosilauke, included many of New Hampshire’s
principal ski slope designers. As evidenced by the droll nicknames that they had bestowed
upon one another, the club was a tight-knit fraternity. Baldwin the forester,
for instance, was identified as the “Chief Plantplanter and Treetoppler”. His colleague
John P. Carleton was the “Grand Bonebender Extraordinary” and Joe Dodge
had the title of “Chief Fablemonger and Brokenbodytrekker”. The Olympic skier
and trail designer Charles Proctor was dubbed the “Chief Trailmoanerdowner”,
and the Boston-based ski promoter Carl Shumway was heralded as the “Worshipful
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
Boardpusher and Partycloserupper” (Baldwin 1992). If their nicknames were any
indication, these were men who together had cleared trails and told tall tales. A few
had nursed skiing injuries and were ribbed when they whined about them. And they
had even been the last men standing at a party or two. In short, they knew one another
intimately and as a result worked side-by-side with a shared sense of purpose.
Their mutual mission to promote skiing received support when in 1933 Franklin
Delano Roosevelt’s national plan for conservation and employment, the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC), became involved in ski trail construction. New
Hampshire foresters were among the first in the nation to recognize that CCC labor
could be used to develop ski trails. A plan initiated by Katharine Peckett of the
Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill Hotel in Franconia and carried out by Duke Dimitri von
Leuchtenberg, one of the hotel’s ski instructors, led to a survey of a trail that crossed
both state and private lands (White Mountain Ski Runners 1934). Funded largely by
locals, work began in 1932 and then accelerated when the CCC became involved
in 1933 (A.H.B. 1933, Williams 1952). In an oral history interview, Raymond L.
Martin, a member of the Taft Trail CCC construction crew, described a ski slope
that was between 12 and 18 m (40 and 60 ft) wide, relatively straight at the top of
the mountain and winding farther downhill (Martin 2004).5 The route combined
Duke Dimitri’s skiing expertise with the forest management expertise of the Forest
Service. “Some fellow [Dimitri] from over in Germany or somewheres over there
was over here,” Martin recalled, “and he went over it with a ranger and the ranger
come up there and showed us where we had to cut it” (Martin 200 4:2).
This type of cooperation during the 1930s made recreation central to the management
of White Mountain National Forest. As historian Neil Maher (2008) has
shown, CCC projects that expanded recreational access in public lands also served
to increase environmental awareness among Americans (Salmond 1967). Encouraging
an appreciation of the outdoors was an important part of the Appalachian
Mountain Club’s mission. In 1932, even before the CCC began its work, the AMC
Committee on Skiing reported that it had worked tirelessly to introduce new members
to the wonders of winter. “We are striving constantly,” the committee wrote, “to
raise the level of skiing ability on the part of club members to a point where more and
more of them will find in skiing with its breath-taking descents in the crisp mountain
air a supreme form of winter recreation” (Committee of Skiing Report 1932:3). By
opening access to the mountains, the report suggested, more people would be captivated
by them. Skiing journalist Park Carpenter (1933:16) agreed: “Skiing means
different things to different individuals,” he explained. “To all it is the out-of-doors
in winter beauty, and health-giving exercise. To some it is just happy touring in the
valley over gentle hills. To others it is mountain grandeur and aloofness, with a pleasant
form of locomotion.” And for a select group, Carpenter claimed, skiing was akin
to flying, a high-speed glide imbued with the “thrill of contest”. As people of all
temperaments were exposed to and taken with winter’s charms, recreation began to
shape forest management decisions. In 1933, the New Hampshire State Development
Commission created a committee chaired by John Carleton that comprised a
cadre of ski promoters, including several ski club advocates, a state forester, and
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hotelier Katharine Peckett to advise the state forestry and development offices on issues
concerning the state’s burgeoning ski industry (Winter Sports Boom 1933).6 The
cut-and-run “buccaneer” culture of lumbermen was giving way to a new collective
celebration of winter recreation (Case 1944).
As state officials recognized skiing’s economic potential, they gave skiers more
decision-making power. Thomas Dreier, chairman of the New Hampshire State
Development Commission, fully supported skiing’s expansion. Dreier, noted the
Boston Evening Transcript, “is one of those folks who believes in hitching your
wagon to a star. He would like to see New Hampshire rivaling Switzerland and
Austria as a playground for skiers.” To achieve his goals, the Transcript continued,
Dreier proposed a far-reaching trail construction plan that would draw upon
the “aid of the new army of amateur foresters” (Place 1933:7). Although trained
foresters would still provide expert guidance from a scientific standpoint—as the
correspondence between forester Robert Monahan and AMC Hut Master Joe Dodge
demonstrated—skiers would instruct foresters on how best to modify the mountains
to accommodate this new form of winter recreation.
Cooperation between professional foresters and skiing experts paid big dividends
for New Hampshire. State foresters willingly accepted the ideas of local ski enthusiasts,
and their combined efforts put the state at the vanguard of ski development.
During the summer of 1933, the Wild River CCC camp, under the supervision of
skiing forester Robert Monahan, completed the Wildcat Trail built on National Forest
land. In the Pinkham Notch area, they also carved the Katzensteig, the Go-Back,
and the Hopper Trails. Other New Hampshire CCC crews built trails in Waterville
Valley, at Bear Mountain in Bartlett, and on Mt. Chocorua, among others (Leich
2004). “It took,” reported The Sportsman in 1933, “a depression, a political revolution
in America, and the creation of the nationwide Civilian Conservation Corps with
thousand of men working in the forests to make it possible. And apparently New
Hampshire is the only State in the Union to have thought of it. But they did, and as a
result New Hampshire today has the greatest network of down-mountain ski trails on
the North American continent” (Shumway 1933:34). New Hampshire led the nation
in CCC-built ski trails and also set a new standard for professional forester-layman
collaboration in the development of National Forest lands. By the end of 1933, New
Hampshire had 56 km (35 mi) of ski trails, mostly clustered in the White Mountain
National Forest (Winter Sports Boom 1933). The state, explained William P. Fowler
(1934a:6), “has really become ski conscious and is prepared … as never before, to
make claims to the title of ‘The Switzerland of New England’”. By 1935, that number
had jumped to 185 km (115 mi), and a year later, New Hampshire had 90 trails totaling
321 km (200 mi) (Allen 1993).
So rapid was the pace of trail construction that it took several years for foresters
to develop more systematic ways of managing resources. Forestry training
gave foresters the tools to fight fires and thwart insects, disease, and soil erosion.
In theory, it also gave them the knowledge to calculate and extract a sustainable
number of trees (Langston 1996). But some foresters, especially those overseeing
early ski trail construction, had not yet connected trail development with wood
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
production. Raymond Martin recalled that when he and his CCC crew cleared
the Taft Trail, they burned the wood. Later, while building trails at Thornton
Gore they collected the felled trees for firewood (Martin 2004). As work crews
chopped down thousands of trees to create ski trails, some foresters developed
systems for synthesizing the sale of forest commodities with the creation of
recreational infrastructure. For instance, in 1934 Baldwin saw great potential in
the forests surrounding Mt. Cardigan, where the AMC was building a ski lodge.
Although the club's land was privately owned, the ski trails often ran onto state
lands or were situated upon them entirely (Fowler 1934b). Baldwin, writing on
New Hampshire Forestry Department letterhead in his official capacity as Assistant
Forester, noted in a letter to Fowler that if he could find “a sale for cordwood
up there, there is no end to the work which can be done in improving the property
from forestry and ski-ing standpoints.” Reflecting his desire to use forest resources
more strategically, he also noted his plan for “mapping the forest types, and
estimating the timber.” He explained that with “a base map on a large scale, these
data might … serve as a basis for a more detailed working plan for the forest management”
(Baldwin 1934:1). Indeed, their work was considered so valuable by the
state that John Carleton (1934:1) explained in a letter to Fowler that according to
the State Forester John Foster, a 1907 Yale Forestry School graduate who taught
forestry at the University of New Hampshire from 1911 to 1915, “the Cardigan
project was, in his mind, the most important of any of the skiing development
plans which the State had in view” (Journal of Forestry 1956).
As White Mountain winter tourism expanded, a few foresters realized that an
expert knowledge of skiing had become integral to their jobs. By the late 1930s,
foresters readily acknowledged a new level of interdependence between skiing and
forestry, insisting that their colleagues understand not only how to ski but also how
to manage the sport’s impact on the land. In one of a series of articles published
in the US Forest Service Bulletin, Robert Monahan, who had left New Hampshire
temporarily for a post in Washington, DC (US Forest Service Directory, 1938,
1939, 1940), explained that skiing had become integral to mountain management
and that foresters had to gain skiing proficiency in order to properly perform their
jobs. He wrote:
“Just as our most successful representative on forests with predominant
range or timber use … is usually the man who knows stockmen’s or loggers’
problems from personal experience, so the most efficient forest officer
in areas where winter recreation is an important form of public use would
normally be the man who understands skiing as a participant as well as a
spectator” (Monahan 1939:4).
Whereas skiing had once been secondary to the conservation of forest resources, it
had, by the late 1930s, become a key factor in mountain forest management. Echoing
Monahan’s sentiments, Baldwin (n.d. b) penned a list of specific qualifications
for winter forest work. He noted, “proficiency in winter sports [was] … Equally
necessary as forestry training.” He explained that “ski-trail scouting requires
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forestry knowledge as well—silvics, engineering.” A forester who specialized in
winter recreation should also “be an expert on winter sports equipment, clothing,
ski bindings, wax, etc.” And knowledge of “snow reports and snow measurement”
as well as “Winter first aid” was essential. No longer was forestry confined to
hydrology reports and timber stock assessments. Recreation was now integral to
forest management plans.
Indeed, the White Mountains had become a national model for multiple-use forestry.
R.M. Evans (1936) explained in the Journal of Forestry that multiple-use
approaches to forest management had been beneficial to New Hampshire both in
terms of increasing profits and public access. Success was achieved, he explained,
because New Hampshire’s mountains lands had been placed under public management,
which “made possible the reconciliation of divergent interests and uses”.
His claims, however, elicited a scathing rebuttal in the Journal by Thomas W.
Alexander (1937), a consulting forester in Asheville, NC, who claimed that New
Hampshire’s purchase of private lands had been “a wasteful and futile subsidy”
that was destined to create inefficiencies. In the same issue of the Journal, Philip
W. Ayres (1937), the forester for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire
Forests, challenged Alexander’s claims, concluding that private ownership had sullied
New Hampshire’s mountains with “camp cabins of all descriptions, pumping
stations, soda and popcorn stands, with many and ugly signs.” But, he continued,
the “Forest Service has saved us from our own cupidity.” Ultimately, he concluded
(forcefully in italics) that New Hampshire had clearly demonstrated that “in one
of the most intensively used recreational areas in the country, industrial use and
recreation use can advance together”.
While foresters debated who should own and how they should manage the
mountains in theory, visitors streamed into New Hampshire in reality. By the mid
1930s, nearly 2.5 million people visited the White Mountains annually, leaving
New Hampshire’s national forests just behind California and Oregon in the number
of visits (Ayres 1937; “2,474,000 Visited White Mountains” 1935). In 1936, nearly
a quarter of New Hampshire’s seventy-five million dollars in tourism revenue came
from the mountain regions (Evans 1936). Although the vast majority of visitors
had come during the summer, the State Planning and Development Commission
reported to the Federal Works Progress Administration that 13,623 people had
visited New Hampshire during the winter of 1936–1937 (Federal Writer’s Project
1938). And the numbers grew every year. If during the 1920s and early 1930s winter
saw “boarded-up hotels and locked gasoline pumps”, by decade’s end, noted
geographer Albert S. Carlson (1942), the mountains were bustling with skiers;
indeed, the number of New Hampshire ski centers doubled from 37 in 1936–1937
to 74 in the winter of 1940–1941. These new demands on the mountains would in
time contribute to the scientific understanding of them.
Skiing and the Science of Winter
Skiing foresters and lay skiers alike lent their expertise to an emerging body of
knowledge about winter ecology. In a paper published in the Transactions of the
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
American Geophysical Union, Baldwin (1938:726–728) explained that skiers were
particularly skilled at describing “changes in [snow] texture and surface from day
to day or even from hour to hour,” and their efforts had laid the groundwork for a
system of snow classification. In his introduction, Baldwin explained that in 1936
Gerald Seligman had penned “a careful scientific analysis of snow-types” titled,
tellingly, Snow Structure and Ski Fields. For Seligman (1962), President of the Ski
Club of Great Britain from 1927–1929 and one of the first to provide a synoptic
study of snow, the substance and the sport were inseparable. Other skiers, Baldwin
explained, had added to Seligman’s work, although he admitted that their efforts
were “rarely based on scientific study”. Baldwin nevertheless felt that a detailed review
of skier snow terminology “may be of interest” to the American Geophysical
Union. Baldwin’s (1938:726–728) paper cited, among others, the famous English
skier and mountaineer Arnold Lunn, who described light and airy, cold-weather
“powder-snow” on top of which “trap crust”, or a hard layer marked by intermittent
breaks, sometimes formed. “Marble crust”, he explained, formed “a solid
crust” that was “hard [and] slippery”. During the spring, “telemark crust” softened
during the day as it was exposed to the sun. “Film crust” occurred when a thin
“transparent film of soft ice” developed atop the snow. Citing Park Carpenter, an
AMC member and editor of the weekly Boston-based Ski Bulletin, Baldwin noted a
distinction between “sticky” snow, which was “just beginning to melt”, and “wet”,
which developed after powder or crust snow had melted for some time. “Slush,” he
explained, “requires no explanation”. Their work prefigured the efforts of the scientific
community. In fact, it took another decade for the International Association of
Scientific Hydrology (IASH) to recognize the need for a snow classification system,
and it was not until 1954 that the IASH International Commission on Snow and Ice
finally published its “International Snow Classification System” (Halfpenny and
Ozanne 1989, IHP-UNESCO 2009, Schaefer et al. 1954). Recognizing that skiers
were carefully attuned to the nuances of winter conditions, Baldwin felt that they
could join and, as in the case of Seligman’s work, even guide the nascent scholarly
conversation about the science of snow.
The American Geophysical Union insisted, however, that snow knowledge
emanated from the summits of the scientific establishment. In its 1938–1939
“Committee on Snow” report, the AGU felt that “skiers owe a debt of gratitude
to the experts on snow in the development of nomenclature of snow-conditions.”
Although J.E. Church, the report’s author, admitted that the snow classification was
“not uniform” and only “approaching standardization”, he asserted that skiers were
“rapidly adopting the generally accepted descriptive terms”, frequently exchanging
them in fireside après-ski conversations (Church 1939:496–497). Church was
particularly gratified that the scientific community had fundamentally improved
the sport of skiing. “The fact that this body of information is seeping down from the
scientists to the sportsmen not only makes sport more interesting but actually aids
in the solution of the everyday problems of the skier of what waxes to use, what
snow to travel on, where to find the best snow, and how to avoid avalanches”
(Church 1939:496–497). For Church and presumably other members of the AGU
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Committee on Snow, skiers had been the beneficiaries of winter science, not the
creators of it. In either case, both skiing magazines and scientific journals were
forging new forms of winter knowledge, and through Baldwin, exchanging that
information between their respective readerships.
If experts were reluctant to accept skier contributions to winter science, they nevertheless
recognized that skiers and skiing foresters were shaping winter landscapes.
At a time when the study of forest ecosystems was quite new and systematic inquiry
into winter ecology was still decades away, ski experts nevertheless were thinking
deeply about how winter environments worked. That most ski trails were constructed
during the summer and fall with an eye toward winter use required foresters to contemplate
cold-weather conditions and anticipate the ways their actions would be
brought to bear in a world of ice and snow. For instance, while cutting the Alexandria
Trail near Mt. Cardigan during the summer of 1934, William P. Fowler (1934c:2)
wrote to CCC Camp Director Joseph D. Kennedy Jr. that it would be necessary to
build a bridge or culvert at the bottom of a particularly steep section of trail “otherwise
there will danger of icy conditions”. That same summer, Charles Proctor
(1934b) wrote a letter to Fowler, reminding him to cut tree stumps “flush with the
ground”. The slope’s southern exposure, he calculated, would cause snow to melt
faster there, so for safety reasons the stumps had to be removed.
Skiing’s growing environmental footprint prompted the development of new
management strategies that acknowledged forest ecology. In his Wars in the Woods,
historian Samuel Hays (2007) examined the rise of “ecological forestry”, the style
of forest management that emphasized ecosystem sustainability, as opposed to
“commodity forestry”, which emphasized resource extraction. Hays noted that tensions
peaked between advocates of ecological and commodity forestry following
the passage of the 1976 National Forest Management Act. Although he traces the
origins of ecological forestry to the early 20th century, he only briefly sets the stage
for his post-1960s analysis. Yet Baldwin’s essays suggest that he and other foresters
were beginning to practice forms of ecological forestry much earlier. For Baldwin,
the changing mountain environment provided a laboratory in which he could observe
and fine-tune the relationships between trees, plants, animals, and humans.
And he noted that certain skiing trends, such as the growing demand for more room
on the slopes, was fraught with ecological uncertainty. “The wider the trails,” Baldwin
(1937b:5) wrote, “the more the maintenance and there are very definite limits
to the widths which can be justified on scenic, economic, or ecological grounds.
There are the dangers of fire and erosion for instance.” By 1937, Baldwin, ever the
careful botanist, was urging foresters and amateur trail designers alike to consider
their impact on mountain ecosystems.
It is likely that the mechanization of skiing added to his concern. The first rope
tow was built in Woodstock, VT, in 1934, and within a year similar systems were
installed across New Hampshire; then Sun Valley, ID, installed the first chairlift
in 1936, and New Hampshire built one in the White Mountains shortly thereafter
(Allen 1993). In an effort to emulate recent advances in European ski technology,
in 1937 the state of New Hampshire began to build the first aerial tramway in the
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
United States (Allen 1997). Touted as the “Sky Route to Ski Fun”, the Cannon
Mountain Tramway opened in 1938 and was capable of making the 610-m (2022-
ft) ascent in only 8 minutes. So efficient was the new system that it carried nearly
35,000 skiers to the summit of Cannon Mountain in its first season (Allen 1997,
Leich 2005, M.H.C. 1938, Peabody 1939–1940). When it became easier to summit
the mountain, the need for more down-mountain routes increased. By 1939, New
Hampshire boasted more than 1600 km (1000 miles) of ski trails (Allen 1993).
The growing numbers of people and the proliferation of trails to accommodate
them required intensive management by the State Forester John Foster and his staff.
“He realized,” explained prominent post-war ski resort developer, Selden Hannah
(1955:17), “that the trails would need maintenance to repair the damage done by
heavy traffic”. The large numbers of skiers also spurred construction of more ski
trails, including the Cannon Mountain and Ravine Trails. As environmental pressure
on the mountains increased, so too did Foster’s vigilance. “The CCC crews
pulled stumps by hand, broke rock with sledges, graded with grub hoes,” Hannah
recalled (1955:17), “while John Foster … counted the trees cut and made sure that
not a single extra one disappeared.” The State Forester’s exacting approach suggests
officials acknowledged a need to carefully manage tree stocks in the face of
an ever-expanding network of trails.
But the response to the Hurricane of 1938 suggests sources of revenue weighed
heavily on management decisions. Hannah noted that the storm had caused widespread
destruction in the White Mountains, making a “hash out of” Foster’s
scrupulous accounting, or in Hannah’s (1955) estimation, “pettiness”. In other areas,
the hurricane made such a mess of mountain forests that some foresters jettisoned
their desire to conserve timber altogether. “Some of the trails are so filled with blowdowns,”
noted the AMC’s monthly newsletter, “that it is easier to re-locate [trails]
in standing timber than to clear the original location” (Graham 1938:267–268). It is
likely that with winter only 2 months away and with tramway revenues dependent on
open slopes, expedience trumped any effort toward conservation.7
Faced with new ecological pressures in his forests, Baldwin sought solutions
that were informed by his experience as both a scientist and skier. Samuel
Hays (2007:XII–XIII) explained that understanding the nuances of ecological
forestry is difficult, for it “was not a mere question of policy objectives … but
was rooted much more deeply in the cultural attitudes of the participants.” Foresters,
he wrote, shaped their ecological understanding of forest management
through the “unique personal process of direct engagement with forested areas,
direct aesthetic experiences, and scientific observation”. Accordingly, Baldwin’s
ecological approach to forestry was inseparable from the aesthetic experience
he desired on the ski slope. One way he applied this ecological approach to the
production of pleasing ski experiences was through the development of ski-trail
ground covers. After a trail had been cleared and graded, he favored seeding to
prevent soil erosion and promote longer snow cover. “Under what conditions
will grass grow?" asked Baldwin (1937b:6). “Some parts of trails are too much
shaded, and the root competition from the bordering trees will prevent its thriving
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just as under trees on lawns. What of the soils? On the lower reaches of trails, the
hardwood leaf mold is exceedingly fertile, and every kind of vegetation springs
up in luxuriance upon an opening being made. Can grasses compete with these
plants?” That Baldwin framed his questions in terms of forest succession—plants
filling their ecological niches through competition—demonstrates his knowledge
of and attention to ecological processes. Although he espoused the introduction
of grasses that might not have otherwise existed (to benefit skiing), he nevertheless
kept the broader ecological health of the mountain in mind. When it was
suggested to him that fertilizers could help propagate grasses, he responded by
explaining, “I am quite opposed personally to putting on heavy dressings of fertilizer
which will leech away very rapidly and possibly be actually detrimental to
native plants and mosses already growing on the trails. I would greatly prefer,” he
concluded, “using native leaf mold or compost or humus scraped from the nearby
forest in preference to chemical fertilizer” (Baldwin 1946c). Baldwin sought
solutions that benefited skiing and maintained forest health. His ideas not only
presaged a shift from commodity to ecological forestry but also reflected a conscious
attempt to integrate a multi-use philosophy to forest management.
Although Baldwin was just one forester seeking ways to address the increasing
environmental pressures posed by skiing, his papers suggest that his ideas were influential.
He published often and fastidiously collected not only his articles but also
his query letters with their corresponding acceptances and rejections. Between 1930
and 1950, the rejection letters rarely refuted his claims, instead citing mismatches
with editorial schedules. That he maintained a lively and friendly correspondence
with scholars around the country in which he openly expressed his views also added
credence to his ideas. In a 1946 letter sent to botany professor John Blackwood
about ski slope ground cover, Baldwin outlined a possible solution that urged the
cultivation of a surprisingly rich and complex ecosystem:
“The best example of natural cover I have seen is on the Deer Mountain trail
in Pittsburg. This has been mowed by scythe about 20 feet wide for some time
and is well covered by grasses, sedges, and native plants such as bunch berry,
Clintonia, Beech fern, Devil’s Paint Brush, Club moss, Polystichum moss,
N.E. Aster, Wild Sassparilla, and others. If you could encourage a dense
cover of the above, I think it would be the best obtainable” (Baldwin 1946b).
That Baldwin endorsed such an intricate mosaic of native flora, especially in an age
when the agricultural establishment had come to prize monocultures, underscores
his sensitivity to ecological processes and the human impact on them.
Baldwin’s willingness to accommodate a human presence in mountain forests
was not shared by all. After writing to University of Minnesota botany professor
William S. Cooper for further advice on ground cover, Baldwin received a reply in
August 1946. “Not being interested in skiing myself,” wrote Cooper (1946), “my
advice would be to keep all skiers out and thus preserve the natural vegetation of
the mountain.” Cooper, the preservationist, felt that to maintain a healthy forest
ecosystem people should be excluded. Baldwin thanked him but replied dryly that
perhaps his suggestion would be appropriate if “the vegetation” had not “already
2017 Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
all but disappeared from the cutting of the trails and grading work that ensued”
Baldwin's ecological, multi-use approach to forestry was well ahead of its time.
In a short history of New Hampshire forestry, Baldwin (1969:6) noted that the “rediscovered
and overworked term ‘multiple use’ that is popularly supposed to typify
modern forestry is, of course, nothing new in New Hampshire.” Baldwin further
explained that “recreation has always been a major use of [New Hampshire] forests,
and foresters have operated campgrounds and ski lifts as effectively as timber
sales.” He argued, moreover, that the “imaginative use of good cutting practices
and forest aesthetics has demonstrated that there need be no conflict among different
uses for the same land under unified administration.” For Baldwin, recreation
and timber production were wholly consistent. The ideas he and his colleagues had
advanced decades earlier had come, he noted with enthusiastic punctuation, “full
circle!” (Baldwin 1969).
New Hampshire led the country in ski trail development by the beginning of
World War II, but by the mid-1940s Vermont had taken the lead. In December 1940,
Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield unveiled a 1930-m (6330-ft) chairlift that climbed over 610
m (2000 ft) in elevation, making it the longest in the world (Leich 2005). By 1947,
Vermont had more ski lifts and could accommodate more skiers than its neighbor (Tobey
1953). During the 1940–1941 ski season, New Hampshire sold 59,932 ski passes,
but by the 1944–1945 season that number had dropped to 43,213 (Lord 1945). By
1950, two-hour waits for the Cannon Mountain tramway were not uncommon. This
caused many skiers to favor Vermont. “Skiers were jamming Stowe,” reported the
Manchester Union, “because the lifts and variety of slopes could keep ’em skiing, instead
of waiting in line. And they were staying overnight, to get more skiing the next
day. Every inn and hotel was filled to the rafters” (Abbott 1950).
New Hampshire’s ski industry fell behind because the state had not done enough
to encourage private investment in ski trail and lift development. Although state
investment combined with the savvy use of federal CCC labor had given New
Hampshire the largest network of ski trails in the country during the 1930s, the
state could not carry the financial burden of continued ski development once
the federal dollars dried up. Moreover, New Hampshire had never relinquished
control of its largest ski areas, including Cannon, Mount Sunapee, and the Belknap
County Recreational Area in Gilford. By 1960, the state owned and ran 37 percent
of New Hampshire’s major ski facilities, which discouraged private investment
(New Hampshire State Planning and Development Commission 1960–1961). Vermont,
like New Hampshire, had benefited during the 1930s from the collaboration
between state forestry officials, the CCC, and skiing enthusiasts. But Vermont had
done much more to encourage private development, not least because the state’s
principal ski promoters were civil engineers and financiers. Charles Lord and Abner
Coleman both worked for the state highway department, which quite literally paved
the way to a more extensive network of ski areas. When Roland Palmedo, a New
Vol. 24, Special Issue 7
York banker and president of the Amateur Ski Club of New York, organized a group
of outside investors to develop ski lifts at Stowe, he placed private capital at the
heart of Vermont’s ski industry (Harrison 2003, Leich 2015, Mazuzan 1972).
Although state management of ski areas eventually hampered New Hampshire’s
ski industry, that same state and federal involvement during the 1930s provided
New Hampshire foresters with a rare opportunity to integrate forestry practices
with a new form of winter recreation. In turn, foresters like Baldwin and the skiers
with whom he collaborated redefined the winter ecology of the White Mountains.
Baldwin advocated planting trees in ways that prevented soil erosion, slowed snowmelt,
and provided soft trail borders. He also spent considerable energy developing
sustainable ground covers that improved ski slope snow cover. And he published
his findings in both scientific journals and skiing magazines, thereby encouraging
his professional colleagues to integrate skiing into their forest management
schemes while introducing skiers to the finer points of mountain ecology. The
early introduction of skiing into America’s mountain forests, in turn, was less an
environmental tragedy than it was an ecological experiment. Faced with managing
a complex and fragile mountain landscape as well as the people who used it, New
Hampshire’s skiing foresters anticipated a style of ecological, multi-use forestry
long before it became official policy (Steen 1976). As a result, New Hampshire
played an important role in the genesis of American skiing, and its foresters forged
new knowledge about winter environments and laid a piece of the groundwork for
practices that would guide federal forest policy in the future.
I would like to thank Jeff Leich, Executive Director of the New England Ski Museum;
Becky Fullerton, the Librarian and Archivist at the Appalachian Mountain Club; and the
librarians at the Milne Special Collections and Archives at the University of New Hampshire.
I would also like to thank Ellen Fitzpatrick, Kurk Dorsey, and Tom Zeller, who read
and provided valuable advice on early drafts of this paper. Finally, I would like to thank
Thomas Wickman, Andrew Denning, and the anonymous reviewers who provided detailed
feedback and suggestions. Thank you also to Eben Lehman of the Forest History Society
for providing scans of selections from the US Forest Service Directories.
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1See Childers (2012) and Clifford (2002). Similarly, Rothman (1998) argues that the growth
of the ski industry imposed significant cultural, economic, and environmental costs. Denning
(2014, 2015) examined the cultural response to environmental change in the Alps.
Although historian John B. Allen and geographer Blake Harrison have examined the ways
ski lifts and an expanding transportation infrastructure transformed early skiing, they provide
only cursory analyses of the sport’s environmental impact. On the history of skiing
and ski technology see Allen (1993, 1997 and 2007), Coleman (2004), Fry (2006), Harrison
(2003), and Lund et al.(1982).
2Most forest histories examine forestry in terms of institutional development. Steen’s (1976)
The US Forest Service is the most comprehensive examination of the Forest Service on
a federal level. In The Origins of the National Forests, Steen (1992) includes a chapter
titled “Individuals and the National Forests” but it largely examines the lives of Forest
Service bureaucrats and prominent conservation advocates and politicians. William Robbins’
(1985) American Forestry provides the same institutional analysis at the state level.
Two notable biographies, McGeary (1960) and Fausold (1961), have focused on Gifford
Pinchot’s role as a political leader and Washington bureaucrat.
3In 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in coordination with
the New Hampshire State Board of Agriculture hired Philip W. Ayres as chief forester. Together,
they actively sought a federal forest reserve in the White Mountains. See Johnson
and Govatski (2013:86–87). New Hampshire state foresters maintained a collaborative
relationship with federal foresters through the 1930s. Vermont, conversely, was more suspicious
of federal policies. See Gregg (2010:161–163).
4Although alpine skiing did not become an official Olympic sport until 1936, Dartmouth
graduates John P. Carleton and Charles N. Proctor were members of the US Olympic Ski
Teams at the 1924 and 1928 Winter Olympic Games, respectively.
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5Although Martin recalled trail widths of 12 m (40 ft), a contemporary claimed “60 feet in
width where necessary and nowhere less than 15 feet” (A.H.B. 19 33:6–7).
6In addition to Carleton and Peckett, the committee included Warren F. Hale of the State
Forestry Department, Katharine Peckett of Sugar Hill, David S. Austin of Waterville Valley,
Gordon Langill of Laconia, and Arthur C. Comey and Alexander H. Bright of Boston.
7The clearing of trails was not completed by the start of that first winter. Although the tram
earned $91,225 during its first summer, it lost $16,435 during the winter following the hurricane