The Eastern Old-Growth Forest Conference

The Eastern Old-Growth Forest Conference
old-growth forest

Exploring Connections: The Value of Old-Growth Forests in Today's World


September 21-23, 2023

Calls for proposals, field trips, and registration coming soon.

This event will be the 7th in a series of conferences dedicated to the study, awareness and appreciation of the original forests of the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada. Since the last conference in 2004, advancements in the understanding of the distribution, dynamics and values of these old forests have been significant and far-reaching. Hosted by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the 2023 conference will provide an important and unique forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion of numerous topics relative to the special role old forests have in today’s world. Multicultural perspectives, knowledge and wisdom will be infused throughout the conference experience. CEU credits will also be available for resource professionals. Field experiences will introduce participants to several old-growth forest sites in the area.

Conference Themes:

  • Forest Dynamics, Ecology, and Biodiversity
  • Balancing Preservation and Management
  • Climate Change Implications
  • Health and Wellness: Impacts and Benefits

Confirmed speakers and field trip leaders (more to be announced soon) include:

  • Bob Leverett – Big Tree hunter, co-founder of the Native Tree Society, president of Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest, and chairperson for the MA Dept. of Conservation & Recreation Forest Reserves Science Advisory Committee. In collaboration with his colleagues, Bob is closely associated with discovery and confirmation the old-growth forest remnants in Massachusetts.
  • Bill McKibben -- Educator, environmentalist, Co-founder of,, and author of eighteen books, including Earth, The End of Nature, Deep Economy
  • Florence Williams – Journalist, Podcaster and author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative

Optional field trips on Saturday September 23 will include options to The Bowl Research Natural Area, Big Pines Natural Area, and several other spectacular old growth forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, led by forest ecology experts and natural resources professionals, including Tom Wessels.

All are welcome. Whether you are a scientist, forest practitioner, health care professional, legislator, hiker or nature enthusiast, please join us!

people walking in an old-growth forest

Rare throughout the United States, mature and old-growth forests represent much less than 1% of remaining forest in New England states. Yet these mature old forests vibrate with a vital life force. They

  • support exceptional levels of biodiversity
  • play essential roles in hydrological regimes, nutrient cycles and numerous other ecological processes
  • store massive amounts of carbon
  • boost mental and physical health


  1. Top Old-Growth Forests to Visit in NH
  2. Finding Old-Growth Forests in New Hampshire
  3. Magnificent Dry River Old-Growth Forest is a Hidden Gem
  4. Saving the Old-Growth Forests of Mad River Notch - A Century Ago
  5. Towering Trees in Tamworth
  6. Explore the Valley of the Green Giants in Randolph