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

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

Plenary Speakers Include:

  • David Foster  Ecologist, Director Emeritus of the Harvard Forest, President Emeritus of the Highstead Foundation, and author or editor of numerous books as well as the 2023 report, Wildlands in New England—Past, Present, and Future.
  • Bob Leverett Co-founder of the Native Tree Society, co-founder and President of Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest, Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Forest Reserves Science Advisory Committee, co-author of several books, and a co-discoverer of most of the known old growth in Massachusetts.
  • Bill McKibben Educator, environmentalist, Co-founder of,, and author of eighteen books, including Earth, The End of Nature, Deep Economy.
  • Suzanne Simard (appearing virtually) - Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, research scientist, and author of Finding the Mother Tree.
  • Florence Williams – Journalist, Podcaster and author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative.

Optional Field Trips on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will include sunrise forest bathing as well as trips to The Bowl Research Natural Area, Big Pines Natural Area, and several other spectacular old-growth forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. All trips are led by experienced field researchers, many of whom are presenters at the conference.

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

8.0 SAF Category 1 CFEs are assigned to this conference.


Session Topics & SPeakers 

Speaker Bios


Registration - Closed

Registration fee excludes lodging. Onsite registration is not available. 

There are TWO registration options:

Full Conference: $279 
INCLUDES: Thursday, September 21 keynote and dinner; Friday, September 22 keynotes and programs; Saturday, September 23 field trips.

Single Day: $149 
INCLUDES: Friday, September 22 programs only. All Friday meals.
EXCLUDES: Field experiences

Online Registration (credit cards only)

Registration is closed.

Paying by check?

You must register using the downloadable PDF registration formRegistrations using this form must received NO LATER THAN September 14, 2023.

  • Checks payable to: UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Mail check and registration to: Jennifer Adie, Nesmith Hall, 131 Main Street, Durham NH 03824

For questions about registration, please contact

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Onsite Lodging:

Lodging is available onsite at a special reduced conference rate. Geneva Point has reserved blocks of rooms with two beds in a rustic camplike setting (some with shared facilities and some with heat). Lodging is priced per person, double-occupancy. Campsites (with or without electricity) are also available; RVs welcome. Go HERE to create your New User Sign-up, click on "Spring/Fall Season," then select Eastern Old-Growth Forest Conference from the drop-down menu and make your selections. For questions or specific lodging preferences, contact Christie Mackie, Camp and Operations Director at or (603) 253-4366 ext. 208.

Nearby Lodging [No Conference Discount]:

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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

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