If you’ve been skiing, biking, canoeing, hiking or camping anywhere across northern New England or New York, you’ve been enjoying the Northern Forest. It is the largest intact forest in the eastern United States, covering 30 million acres and stretching nearly 400 miles from New York’s Tug Hill Plateau to Maine’s northern and eastern borders with Canada.
“It covers some seriously great skiing territory — downhill, backcountry and cross-country — and is home to more than 2 million people who live in rural communities and small cities surrounded by the vast forest,” said Kelly Short, communications director for the Northern Forest Center, which works tirelessly to address the needs of the region’s communities while thoughtfully stewarding its forest-based economic future.
By investing in communities, advancing the forest economy and providing regional leadership, the center — among so many other things — helps to improve outdoor recreation opportunities by establishing Community Forests, redeveloping housing and retail properties, supporting innovation in forest-based businesses, advocating for public policy and cultivating a variety of funding sources for projects across the vast region.
A Boston College graduate in communications with a focus on journalism, Short first served as a consultant when the center was created in 1997 before joining the staff full time in 2004. New England Ski Journal caught up with her to talk about the center’s work, including its recreation and tourism focused program called Destination Development.