In this issue:
GMF's New Mission Statement
FEMC's CT Chapter
GMF Volunteer Tom Blagden Earns NANPA Award
The Legacy of Elliott Bronson
Spring Ephemerals
1% for the Planet
Great Mountain Forest Adopts
New Mission Statement

In March, the Great Mountain Forest board of trustees approved the organization's new mission statement.

The mission of Great Mountain Forest is to provide leadership in forest stewardship. We practice sustainable forest management, promote biodiversity and resilience to climate change, support education and research, and welcome all who love the woods.
FEMC Forms CT State Partnership Committee 
Last summer, Great Mountain Forest became an active collaborating partner of the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Collaborative (FEMC). FEMC’s mission is to serve the northeast region to understand long-term trends in forest ecosystems. It coordinates multidisciplinary environmental monitoring and research activities among government, universities, and the private and non-profit sector to manage and protect these resources.
This fall, Connecticut joined Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts in having a State Partnership Committee that will guide activities and help develop regional goals for the Cooperative. Heading that partnership is Jeffrey Ward, Ph.D., a Chief Scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and longtime GMF researcher and friend. 
For Ward, CAES is the ideal partner for FEMC because “it has the best long-term data sets in the country. We’re extremely fortunate to have the Connecticut state government and its citizens be supportive of our research, some of which stems back to 1926.”
FEMC’s latest project will utilize Connecticut’s data to examine forest health--how trees begin, grow, and die, with an emphasis on regeneration. According to Ward, “We’ll also be looking at the impact of competing vegetation, invasive species, and deer populations on forest regeneration.”

This is where data from CAES experimentation plots at GMF will be used. Explains Ward, “Since 1959 we’ve had plots in a stand dominated by Hemlock and American beech that will contribute to the studies."
For Ward, FEMC’s regional approach provides a “unified data set throughout the region. Changes to the forest start in one part of the region and can migrate to others. These include bioindicator changes in climate, natural forest composition, and air quality. Trees eventually die. We want to see what regenerates in that region and figure out why.”
Furthering GMF’s impact in FEMC’s data collection is the fact that CAES and Ward have been involved in several studies in the Forest including how deer browsing impacts growth for oak and white pine seedlings. Great Mountain Forest, with its unique climate, is in a tension (transition) zone between forest types. This makes it unique when examining the role of pests and disease on forest health, such as the woolly aldegid’s impact on Hemlock trees. Earlier CAES and GMF partnerships have examined controlling invasive barberry and regional forest health assessments.
Ward is excited about the Connecticut FEMC State Partnership Committee and GMF’s participation, “It holds great promise to understand the how and why of forest changes in the state as compared to the region. The forest is not a diorama, remaining constant over time. It’s always changing. Being able to track and predict that change allows us to better manage our natural resources.”
Tom Bladgen Earns NANPA's Environmental Impact Award
In his "retirement", esteemed nature photographer Tom Blagden has been photographing GMF and donating his images of the Forest to help celebrate its beauty, inspire awe, and promote its important work.

The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) has awarded Tom Blagden with its Environmental Impact Award.

Tom will receive this award at the 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit at the end of April. He will also serve as its keynote speaker.

The award is in recognition of his 2019 book, The Grand Canyon: Unseen Beauty — Running the Colorado River. According to NANPA, "Blagden examines the greatest threats to this landmark, from developments in and near the Canyon to climate change and invasive species." In this book, Blagden sought to capture the wonder and awe of the Grand Canyon while exposing its vulnerability to outside dangers.
Photo: Tom Blagden
NANPA’s Environmental Impact Award “honors a photographic project undertaken by an individual or a team that addresses an important and urgent regional or global environmental problem,” showing the dangers faced by species or ecosystems as well as suggesting solutions. Especially important is a project’s ability to raise public awareness and stimulate conversations about and further study of the issue.
The Forest Legacy of Elliott B. Bronson

The Pathways column of the Spring 2021 Connecticut Woodlands, the magazine of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA), highlighted the work of Elliott B. Bronson, whose legacy lives on in CFPA's state forests and parks.

Aside from a dedicated career as a forester, fire warden, and legislator, in 1909 he sold 300 acres of land to Frederic Walcott and Starling Childs, which became part of what is now Great Mountain Forest.

Elliott is the great-grandfather of Forest Manager Jody Bronson, thus proving that the forester doesn't fall far from the tree.
GMF is an Approved 1% for the Planet
Non-Profit Partner Thanks to
Harney & Sons
Great Mountain Forest is part of the 1% for the Planet network, thanks to Harney & Sons, which recommended GMF for membership as a vetted non-profit partner.

According to Vice President Mike Harney, Harney & Sons has given over $4 million to GMF and other environmental nonprofits through 1% for the Planet over the past 10 years.

Three thousand corporate and individual 1% for the Planet members create high-impact partnerships with approved non-profits. These relationships provide much-needed funding and volunteers to environmental organizations around the globe.

Since its founding in 2002, 1% partners have given over $265 million to worthy organizations such as GMF. Companies donate at least 1% of annual sales and individuals give at least 1% of their annual salary in donations of money, goods and services, and time.
Eliza Little, Ph.D. Talks on Ticks
It's tick time again!

On April 18 at 4 p.m., The Colebrook Land Conservancy is sponsoring a Talk on Ticks with Eliza Little, Ph.D. Dr. Little will explain all you need to know about ticks, the pathogens they carry, and their socio-ecological determinants in the northeastern US.

Eliza Little, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research scientist at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases in New Haven, CT. She is a member of the Great Mountain Forest board of trustees.
Spring Ephemerals
Spring hiking at GMF is more about looking down than looking up.

Forest Manager Jody Bronson recommends seeking out (and not stepping on!) these short-lived and stunning adornments to the forest floor while you're spring hiking in the Forest. They'll be making their debut in the coming weeks.

To learn more about spring ephemeral wildflowers, click here.
Spring Beauty
Dutchman's Breeches
Trillium or Wake Robin
Trout Lily
Painted Trillium
Forest Notices

Welcome to the forest!

GMF is a place of peaceful co-existence for everyone

  • Keep your dog on a leash and if you pack it in--pack it out.

  • Sign in at kiosks at the East and West Gates.

  • Watch for inclement weather notices on social media.

If you have any questions, email
Stand with the Trees!
Donate to Great Mountain Forest.
Your generosity makes our work possible!
GMF is critical to the environmental and economic sustainability of the region as well as an important contributor to research and education about climate change and environmental health. Help us support the forest as a vital natural resource.