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Belknap Mountain Fire Towers History Hike

On Thursday, July 27th, BRCC, in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) Eastern Chapter, led a hike to the summit of Belknap Mountain to learn about fire tower history and the work of forest fire wardens.  Jack Kelley, Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) Eastern Chapter and Hal Graham, Belknap Fire Tower Lookout, explained what a typical day is like in a NH fire tower; how the system started, how often the towers are staffed; how many towers remain and who maintains and staffs fire watch towers.  Jack and Hal explained how fire lookouts communicated early on and how they do it today.  Jack explained how Seacoast towers played a role in WWII and provided information on the NH “Tower Quest” program.  It was a great day and a very interesting program. Thanks to Jack and Hal for all the interesting facts!

Dave Roberts

 November 9, 1935 - March 29, 2017



Dave Roberts, a founding member and director of BRCC, passed away on March 29, 2017.  An avid hiker and mountain climber, Dave was also involved with the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Dave spent decades exploring the Belknap Range, marking existing trails, blazing new trails, and marking the location of numerous natural and historic features.  Using early GPS technology, Dave generated the first hiking trail maps of the Range.  Current Belknap Range trail maps, which can be found on this site, are basically updates of Dave's original maps.

Dave was known as "dcr" on the popular www.winnipesaukee.com Forum, where he posted over 1,400  beautiful photos in the PhotoPost section of the site.  He posted many photos of mountain scenes for the enjoyment and education of the Forum viewers.  In many of his photos he labeled each mountain peak for the benefit of the viewers.  Here is one of Dave's mountain view photos:

Dave will be missed by his many friends, acquaintances, and anyone who happened to meet him along the Belknap Range trails.

LRCT Recent and Current Land Projects

Additional 273 Acres on Piper Mountain Conserved

Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) and the Gilford Conservation Commission worked together to conserve 273 acres on Piper Mountain in Gilford. This property encompasses Piper’s open summit (elevation 2,044′), the surrounding unfragmented forest and wild habitat, and parts of key hiking trails.


View from Piper Mt.

(Rick Van de Poll Photo)

Contiguous to thousands of acres of conserved land, the Piper Mountain parcel has long been a conservation priority. This project will ensure that Piper Mountain’s wildness and scenery, popular trials, and magnificent views of surrounding mountains and lakes can be enjoyed by all for generations to come.


Click on map for printable PDF

Anyone who has hiked on Piper Mountain or elsewhere in the Belknaps, or who enjoys the views of the Belknaps from around the region, can attest to the beauty of this landscape. YOU were the key to permanently protecting a critical part of this landscape.


Piper, the dog, on her namesake mountain

(Nanci Mitchell Photo)

More information from the LRCT about these, and other, projects is available here:  Recent and Current Land Projects

You can read more about LRCT's past success conserving land in the Belknap Range here.

Thank you very much for your support!

Giant White Ash May Be a Belknap County Champion

Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) Trustee Russ Wilder recently assisted members of the NH Big Tree program in measuring an ancient white ash tree in LRCT's 330 acre Jail Pasture property in the Belknap Mountains in Gilford.  Kevin Martin, Mike Callaghan and Frank Stevens of the NH Big Tree program measured the tree to determine if it would qualify as a champion.  Based on these measurements, the tree is being listed in the Big Tree program and, pending measurements of one other big White Ash in Meredith, could be listed as the Belknap County champion.

The Jail Pasture is a remote property located in the Belknap Mountains south of Belknap Mountain and east of Piper Mountain in the Moulton Valley, the headwaters of the Suncook River.  Conserving this land was part of the Belknap Mountains campaign which had support from many organizations and municipalities including the Town of Gilford that are part of the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition (BRCC).  LRCT now owns the property and is developing a management plan.  All who supported that purchase should be proud that they have protected an extremely rare old growth tree.

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust was founded in 1979 to conserve the natural heritage of New Hampshire's Lakes Region.  To date, LRCT has conserved more than 130 properties totaling over 24,000 acres.  LRCT's conservation and stewardship work preserves community character, conserves critical wildlife habitat and diverse ecosystems, protects natural landmarks and scenic landscapes, and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all ages.  To learn more about LRCT visit their website www.lrct.org.

Russ Wilder, LRCT Trustee, and his dog Gus at the base of the White Ash

Forest Society Acquires Mt. Major Trailhead Property

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests officially acquired the trailhead property at the base of Mt. Major on November 16, 2015.


Please click on the following Facebook link for more information about this land acquisition and about Dave Roberts, who made it all possible:  https://www.facebook.com/ForestSociety/posts/10154458138438492

Forest Society logo

Everybody Helped Mt. Major!  Campaign Goal Reached!

The "Everybody Hikes Mt. Major" fundraising campaign has reached the summit, achieving our goal of $1.8 million for acquiring 980 acres on and near Mt. Major! 


We are very grateful that the campaign received more than 1,900 gifts ranging from $2 to $340,000.  Gifts came in from 31 states, from as far away as Hawaii, Arizona and Oregon. 


The successful partnership between the Forest Society, Lakes Region Conservation Trust and Belknap Range Conservation Coalition has resulted in the purchase of three parcels of forests, trails and wetlands on Mt. Major, East and West Quarry and Piper mountains, as well as in the Moulton Valley.  A fourth parcel is in the final stages of acquisition. 


Because of the recreational component to these Belknap Range properties, conserving them is just the first step.  The trails on Mt. Major are degraded by overuse and require repair and maintenance. We have set up a fund to meet these stewardship responsibilities. If you would like to help, please give online or call Susanne Kibler-Hacker at 224-9945, ext. 314.  Thank you!

BRCC's Hiker Safety Awareness Day



These Harvard Business School students climbed Mt. Major on October 11, 2014 as part of BRCC's Hiker Safety Awareness Day.



© belknaprange.org 2017  -  Belknap Range Conservation Coalition, P.O. Box 151, Gilmanton Iron Works, NH  03837