Posts Tagged ‘Society for Protection of NH Forests’

Forest Bathing for Health

August 9, 2017

Thanks to the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and the White Mountain National Forest, the AMC, local hiking groups, and Conservation Trusts, we in NH are amply blessed with opportunities to walk in calm, sweet smelling, breathing woodlands, wherever we live. For wheelchair accessible trails, check out  www.traillink.com/stateactivity/nh-wheelchair-accessible-trails/.

Depending on whether we need to unwind by a thundering waterfall, scramble over rocks and granite slabs, be up high enough so the world spreads easily around us with lots of room for everyone, or whether we need to slide our back into a sage old maple and just breathe with the tree, there are such havens in or near every town.

Naturalists have been writing about forests for centuries, but other professions join them today. In the US, there is an Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guide Training program. In Japan, doctors may legally prescribe forest bathing as a treatment for illness. Tree medicine melds nature with mindfulness.

Studies document the calming value of a walk among the trees.  On walk days, hostility and aggression decrease.  The book, “Your Brain on Nature”, by Eva Selhob and Alan Logan proposes Vitamin G (for green) as an essential for our health and well being. Our expression, “Go take a walk”, is a standard sure cure when someone is upset or confused.

The British medical journal, Lancet (5/17), found that access to green space was a greater predictor of health than income, eating well, or doctoring more often.

It is just about impossible to stay mired in problems when ravens are calling to us or when we see a patch of blueberries loaded with berries so late in the season, or when a boulder seat presents itself just when we need a little break or a tree branch reaches out a willing assist over a stretch on the rocks, or from an open window in early morning, sensing a breeze bringing in cool fresh air.

One day, a pair of yellow warblers watched me intently from their perch as we met eye to eye.  I gasped silently at their utter beauty and paused to soak in that spot long after they flew off.  Every bird, tree, and four-legged is part of this dance we call life.

Anthropologist, Mary Catherine Bateson, (Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson’s daughter), encourages us to learn to use the word “we” to include all life on Earth, to shape everything we do, and to protect this Earth we share. Our health depends on our action.

Blues for the Moratorium

March 7, 2013

 I was stunned to see the Moratorium Bill rolled back down the hill. NH  HB 580 required that there be a Moratorium on wind turbine plants and electric transmission line projects until the state issues a comprehensive energy plan. This week, despite hundreds of protesters at the Feb.19 hearing in Concord, the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee voted to postpone dealing with this and other energy bills.

 The news report read like something out of Jared Diamond’s, Collapse. So many civilizations have met their demise by ignoring the management of their natural resources, with towns and states pitted against each other for bigger pieces of the pie. Step one is the top drawer greed and apparent political stagnation in the face of environmental destruction. Step two is the general poverty of the masses leading to disease. Step three is the final starvation of whoever is left.

 Last week, when a tree fell on lines at the Thornton Power station, the area blackout caused Waterville Valley Ski Area to lose thousands of dollars. We all are so dependent on energy that it’s not just the lifts, but the kitchen, the toilets, the internet, and all that must be running well to accommodate over a thousand skiers. Those are recreational dollars lost. Yet the legislators, with few exceptions, want to have more time to think about whether they want time to think about advance planning for future provisions of renewable energy that can be safely transmitted. They want more time to think about burying new lines along state transportation rights of way to avoid such disasters.

 Meantime, energy projects are moving right along, with a third contract for another wind farm in the Groton area. People in the North Country have to regularly ask police to remove trespassers scoping out their land for the Northern Pass Project. Yet these intruders are carrying illegal permission slips from the Department of Energy.

 At this point, if we want to protect the health and safety of people in New Hampshire, we need to support the work of our one true ally: the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. To help stop HQ’s latest Northern Pass bullying attempts, please send your contribution to Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Trees Not Towers campaign, 54 Portsmouth St, Concord, NH 03301; or on line at www.forestsociety.org/np; or call 603-224-9945 and ask for Suzanne Kibler-Hacker at the Forest Society.

 Please also attend your town meeting and support your town’s Rights Based Ordinances. If we want to leave our grandchildren and all children a legacy they will appreciate and continue to honor, we have to come together, and not risk being another chapter in Collapse.