Annual Forest Management Operations at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

horse logger leads team of two horses in the forest
Horse logging during Forest Festival 2023

NPS Photo / Kyle Burton

2023 Forestry Operations Schedule

Annual forest management operations are scheduled to begin at Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park on November 2, 2023 and will continue no later than November 23, 2023. During this time, there will be temporary trail closures in and around the work areas between 7:00.a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Posted signs at trailheads will alert hikers to the closures and alternative routes will be marked. All parking lots and trailheads, including the Prosper Road parking lot, will remain open.
Map titled "Horse Logging 2023 Trail Closures" showing trails of MBR with red overlaid on some trails and green on others, showing where trail barricades and safety chains and interpretive signs are located
Trail Closure Map

NPS Photo

Trail Closures Starting November 2, 2023

Trail closures will take place Monday-Friday on trails marked in red on the map above beginning November 2 and lasting until no later than November 23. Trail closures will be lifted on Saturdays and Sundays.


Please note the following cautions during logging operations:

  • Do not cross barracades.
  • Do not climb on log stacks.
  • Stand to the opposite side of the trail when forestry equipment is in motion.
  • Keep pets on leash at all times.
For more information on park rules and regulations, visit the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Safety page.

ash tree bark
Ash tree bark

NPS Photo / Kyle Burton

Forest Management Goals

Using a multi-year phased approach, the park is taking proactive steps to remove ash along the main carriage roads and trails that could become safety hazards to visitors in their eventual mortality. The treatment plan was developed in consultation with Redstart Forestry of Corinth, Vermont, in accordance with the park’s forest management plan. The timing of this year's tree removal was planned based on guidance developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Northern Long Eared Bat, which was reclassified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in November 2022.

See Horse Logging in Action on November 9 at a Working Woodlands Workshop

Felling and removal of the trees will be completed using traditional horse logging techniques by Third Branch Horse Logging of Braintree, Vermont. The public are invited to safely view the horse logging operation during a Horse Logging Demonstration Working Woodlands Program on November 9. To learn more about Working Woodlands and to register for the program, visit our Working Woodlands Workshop page.

Long metallic green beetle
Emerald ash borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The forest management work will target a subset of ash trees that could pose a hazard to visitors due to mortality caused by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). While previous estimates predicted the spread of EAB to Woodstock, VT within the next 2-5 years, the presence of EAB was confirmed by park staff in September of this year.

EAB is a destructive wood-boring pest of ash trees, native to Asia and first discovered in North America in 2002. EAB larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients resulting in widespread mortality of mature ash trees.

To learn more about EAB and its impacts Vermont’s forests, visit Emerald Ash Borer in Vermont | Vermont Invasives.
trail surrounded by trees with a pile of logs in the center
Logging operation in progress in the Mount Tom forest

Tom Remp

Mount Tom Forest

The Mount Tom Forest is the oldest professionally managed forest in the United States. Forest management on Mount Tom began in 1869 ,when Frederick Billings purchased the land from the Marsh family and established an estate that would serve as a model of wise forest and farm stewardship. Billings’s granddaughter, Mary, and her husband, Laurance S. Rockefeller, sustained this stewardship approach and entrusted the National Park Service to continue forest management on the property.

The Mount Tom Forest is located at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.

Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller National Historical Park

Last updated: October 25, 2023