National forest Christmas tree permits now available

On Nov. 18 the White Mountain National Forest will begin selling Christmas tree permits for the 2017 holiday season. Cutting your own Christmas tree can be an enjoyable adventure for the entire family and just may become a yearly tradition. Bundle up, make a lunch, bring your handsaw or ax and look for that special tree. You will need a permit, sharp saw, thermos of cocoa and a little patience.

A Christmas tree permit can be purchased for $5, cash or check only — from the White Mountain National Forest. Offices are located in Campton, Lincoln, Gorham and Conway N.H. For office hours and permits visit:

This year one free holiday tree cutting permit will be issued to fourth graders who present a valid Every Kid in a Park pass. The Forest Service is among a number of federal agencies supporting the Every Kid in a Park initiative; more information can be found at

Several different types of evergreen grow in the White Mountain National Forest. Many people prefer the balsam fir because of fragrance and needle retention. Others prefer the spruce because of the fullness of the branches and the classic shape. Keep in mind that a wild tree may not have the perfect appearance of a commercial tree. Be prepared to do some real searching. Somewhere out there is your ideal Christmas tree.

Please remember:
• Trees are for personal use only, not for resale. Each family may cut one tree per permit (one Christmas tree permit per family).
• Use only hand tools to cut Christmas trees. Chainsaws are not permitted.
• Make sure you are on National Forest land. Respect the rights of landowners when crossing private property.
• Do not cut trees in or near campgrounds, picnic areas, Experimental Forests, Wilderness, timber sale areas, or within 100 feet of a state highway. When you purchase the permit ask if there are any known "off limit" areas.
• Do not cut trees larger than 8 inches in diameter at chest height. Pack down limb piles low enough so they are within 2 feet of the ground. Scatter limbs and wood at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, hiking trails, and property boundaries.
• Cut your tree so remaining stumps will be less than 10 inches in height.
• Attach your tree tag after cutting and before transporting your tree.
Be prepared for winter — dress appropriately in warm clothing, and make your day a safe one!


Hiking: Author Jeffery Ryan explores history of Appalachian Trail


By Ed Parsons

This Thursday, I had a fun encounter. I met author Jeffery Ryan at a coffee house in North Conway and talked about his new book published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books, “Blazing Ahead: Benton Mackay, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail.”

A lifelong Mainer, Ryan had come to town in his 1985 Volkswagen bus, which had faithfully carried him on a months-long book tour out west.

We settled in for a chat. I had recently finished his book, and felt that sometimes you learn things about history that you didn’t know you needed to know. For example, what were wilderness values in the early 1920s, before the automobile changed everything? How did those values effect Benton Mackay’s idea of an Appalachian Trail?

The idea of this book slowly germinated as Ryan was working on a section hike of the Appalachian Trail with a friend that took many years. This adventure was the subject of his first book: “Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail.” An editor of National Geographic said in a review of this book, "It is destined to be a classic of nature and travel writing."

Ryan found ample material to start his new book project in the Maine State Archive in the Maine State Library in Augusta. There he found volumes of letter correspondence to and from Myron Avery.

“Blazing Ahead” is about people of influence and drive. The Harvard educated Mackay was a visionary who had an idea of how to increase the quality of life of working people by giving them the opportunity to get out on the high ridges of the Appalachian chain, at the least for a few days or weeks a year. But it also included utopian self-sufficient communities below the ridges to counteract the migration to the cities which was occurring. Little did he know at the time of his idea that the automobile would do that later, yet not in a utopian fashion.

Avery was a maritime lawyer from Lubec, Maine. Things were done his way or the highway. Although he made many enemies, he carried the idea of an Appalachian Trail from an idea to a physical reality. It was a herculean task, including getting permission for land, finding individuals and creating trail clubs to do trail work, creating guidebooks as it progressed, marking the course of the trail, cutting and blazing it. He traversed the whole trail himself in this effort.

His primary falling out with Mackay occurred well along in the process, when the proposed Skyline Drive was to go along the ridge of the Great Smokies.

Of course, the story includes many other people from the beginning. The book starts with a section entitled Cast of Characters, including early proponents of Mackay’s idea, people who worked with and sparred with Myron Avery, faithful trail builders, journalist, AMC committee members, wardens, and many more. This is not a story of only two men, but of their influence over a movement of individuals who worked for open space.

One quote by Benton Mackay struck some depth for me, when I was a short way into the book. “High and dry above the stupendous detail of our job, we should hold the reason for it all. This not to cut a path and then say ‘Aint’ it beautiful.’ Our job is to open a realm.”

If you are interested in the history of the people who had the inspiration and drive to complete the Appalachian Trail, of their many human qualities, and how their accomplishments fit into the wider scope of modern day conservation, you should go see Jeffery Ryan at White Birch Books Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m., listen to him and perhaps be inspired to buy his book. His previous book “Appalachian Odyssey" will also be available.

Finally, I’m going to give you a suggestion for a short hike on the Appalachian Trail out of Pinkham Notch.

To me, the short 1-mile walk to Lost Pond is quintessential White Mountains. Park at the AMC Pinkham Notch Camp on Route 16. Walk across the highway to the trail sign for Lost Pond. A board walk to a bridge with bring you to a rolling trail south, which soon reaches the Cutler River. The trail follows it for a way then rises to Lost Pond. Be sure to walk along the pond half way to a flat rock for natural viewing. Across the pond rises Mount Washington. Huntington Ravine is squarely facing you. A beaver lodge is on the other shore.

Knights of Columbus Council 506 received Columbian Award

Berlin/Gorham Knights of Columbus Council 506 was recently notified that it received the very prestigious Columbian Award. This award has been presented to Council 506 three years in a row.

Grand Knight Don Huot proudly explained that the Columbian Award is given for excellence in volunteer programming activities in church, community, council, culture of life, family and youth.

Along with the award, Huot received a letter of congratulations from Carl A. Anderson, supreme knight, of New Haven, Conn.

Anderson said, “On behalf of my fellow supreme officers and board of directors, please accept my sincere congratulations upon attaining this prestigious award. The dedication to the principles and aims of the order shown by your officers and members is exemplified by the high standards of excellence you have achieved. May this award be a reminder and an inspiration to the members of your council to continue to promote the ideas of Columbianism for the good of the church, your community and the order. I encourage you to continue your hard work and enthusiasm to meet the challenges of this new fraternal year.”

If you are interested in learning about the Knights of Columbus or are interested in becoming a member, call Don Huot at (603) 723-6745.



St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates the 500th Anniversary of “The Reformation”

St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates the 500th anniversary of “The Reformation”

Five hundred years ago, on Oct. 31, an astonishing turn of events was about to unfold in Wittenberg, Germany. There at the cathedral, a theological professor and priest had been working on a list of statements, 95 “grievances” concerning established practices within the Catholic Church.

These he boldly presented by nailing the list to the cathedral door. With the help of a new invention called the printing press, word spread quickly and the Protestant Reformation began.

To Martin Luther, an individual’s faith and how he abided by it during his lifetime guaranteed salvation for his soul. This was not the practice of the day. This and other grievances with the Catholic Church at that time led to wide ranging discussions among the theologians of that day, eventually resulting in the formation of a number of Protestant denominations of the Christian faith.

On Oct. 29, St. Paul Lutheran Church on Norway Street in Berlin, celebrated this event with the planting of an Eastern Redbud tree on the east lawn of the church to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

St Paul Lutheran ChurchMembers of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Berlin plant an Eastern Redbud tree to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (COURTESY PHOTO)





Historical society saluting veterans

The Berlin and Coos County Historical Society is saluting veterans during the month of November. 

On special display are a personal photo album from World War II, which contains photos of "nose art" on airplanes in the South Pacific and military uniforms spanning the Spanish-American War to Desert Storm. There are also medals, ribbons and other military memorabilia.

Some of these items are on loan, while others are part of the permanent collection of the museum.

New this year are an album covering local people in the Vietnam conflict, and a framed Civil War memorial poster with a roster of Company H 1st Regiment of the N.H. Heavy Artillery containing the names of several men from Berlin, Milan and Dummer.

All veterans, their families, and school children are invited to come view our military collection and impart new information to be added to our knowledge of the activities of Berlin's native sons and daughters while in service of our country or just sit back and reminisce. Admission is free. Donations are graciously accepted.

The Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center is located at 119 High Street, Berlin, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, call (603) 752-4590 during business hours.