• Students at South Peak

    Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller

    National Historical Park Vermont

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  • Starting Wednesday July 23rd Expect Road Closures

    July 23rd, Prosper Trail, North Slope & Middle Pass Trails - west side of the park CLOSED for forestry operations. McKenzie Farm Trail & McKenzie Rd will remain open for access between Prosper Parking Lot and the Pogue. CAUTION Heavy Equipment in use!

Forest Management

Sunlight streams through lush green deciduous trees, highlighting a smooth dirt path through the forest.

Continuing the legacy of stewardship

NPS Photo

"Responsible stewardship of our environment may be our only guarantee that in the pursuit of our happiness we do not burn out like a shooting star - but pass on to each successive generation the special places and experiences that have shaped our character and nurtured our souls." Rolf Diamant, Park Superintendent (Retired).

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park includes 550 acres of managed woodlands on the slopes of Mount Tom, and just as the replanting and management of the forest was a labor of love for Frederick Billings, the continued management of the land is an important part of the park's mission.

Today, the woods that cover Mount Tom stand as both a model of scientific forestry practices and a beloved public resource. The National Park Service provides stewardship of the land, emulating the property's earlier owners and utilizing current best practices for forest stewardship activities. The trails and carriage roads Billings built on the mountain in the nineteenth century to encourage the public to view his managed forest, have welcomed visitors to Woodstock and members of the local community ever since. The deed of gift by which the National Park Service took on the property prohibits camping, campfires, mountain biking, snowmobiling and motorized vehicles.

Continued responsible stewardship of the park's forestlands will ensure that they will remain intact for subsequent generations to observe. In this woodland landscape, ecologists of the future may discover the same inspiration that George Perkins Marsh found as a child, a connection between human action and the health of the natural world.

 
Books fill the shelves, and daylight and small lamps warm a large wooden table in the reading area of the bookstore.

Furniture made by local craftsmen using wood harvested from the park property

Jim Westphalen

Value Added Conservation

White pine harvested and milled from the Mount Tom Forest was used in the renovation of the Carriage Barn Visitor Center. The beautiful benches, chairs, tables and bookcases in the Visitor Center were created by local craftsmen. Furniture makers Bruce Beeken and Jeff Parsons of Beeken/Parsons in Shelburne, Vermont, Dan Ober of the Birdseye Woodshop in Richmond, Vermont, and Garret Hack of Thetford, Vermont all participated in this special partnership. The project strengthens conservation and sustainable communities, and illustrates for visitors how economic value can be added to products through an association with a special place, regional craftsmanship, and land stewardship.

 
Logging with draft horses

Ben Canonica with draft horses

B Machin

Sustainable forestry operations at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park includes using draft horses to improve forest conditions. View photos by Kent McFarland of careful horse logging operations at the park.

Did You Know?

Black and white Carleton Watkins photograph, showing Yosemite's massive granite Cathedral Rock. Billings Family Archives.

In the early 1860s Vermonter Frederick Billings, then living in California, purchased and sent photographs of Yosemite Valley to influential eastern friends to make the case for its preservation. You can see these photographs, and paintings of Yosemite, at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP.