Hubbard Brook Roundtable
The Hubbard Brook Roundtable, initiated in 2006 under the leadership of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study’s co-founders, Dr. Gene Likens and Dr. Herb Bormann, incorporates a broad range of stakeholders and utilizes an “ecosystem approach” to identify and discuss threats to the Northern Forest region. Over the course of two days of facilitated conversations, participants agree on recommendations for specific actions that can be taken to protect these ecosystems. The first Roundtable convened distinguished leaders from ecosystem science, government service, the timber industry, citizen groups and public-interest organizations to share cutting-edge scientific information about forested ecosystems in ways useful to policy makers and land managers. Many of the people were residents of the Northern Forest and had intimate knowledge of the values important to North Country residents: natural resources and wildlife, forest products, tourism and accessible landscapes, recreational opportunities, heritage communities, and more. Others brought to the meeting a national or international perspective. Some top environmental threats discussed included acid rain, mercury pollution, invasive species and diseases, salinization of waterways, fragmentation of the landscape, and climate change. It is the Hubbard Brook Roundtable’s ambitious goal and prediction that the Northern Forest “Ecoregion” will someday serve as a hopeful model for solving natural-resource and economic problems in other parts of the country and other regions of the world.
In 2007, the Roundtable added new members, prepared white papers and other publications, and participated in the Northern Forest Center’s Sustainable Economy Initiative (SEI), which in 2008 released the report, Economic Resurgence in the Northern Forest: Regional Strategy and Recommendations (download report here) which comprised policy recommendations to the region’s four governors and congressional delegations.
In 2009, the Hubbard Brook Roundtable met with the goal to create a blueprint for a thriving Wood Fuel Marketplace in the at the local scale in the Northern Forest Region, that helps increase the efficient use of low-quality wood for fuel, while also promoting sustainable forestry practices. This blue print is intended to serve as the basis for pilot projects in several communities in New Hampshire, and hopefully as a template for other locations in the Northern Forest region and beyond. A new white paper “Our Carbon, Our Communities” promotes the consensus of this Roundtable.
HBRF extends our thanks to Dr. Tom Gross of Genesis Consulting, S. A., for his formidable talents in facilitating Hubbard Brook Roundtable meetings; and the following foundations who have supported this initiative: Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust; Northern Forest Partnership Program; Maverick Lloyd Foundation.