The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) was formed in Concord, N.H. in February 1901 “…to preserve the forests of New Hampshire, to protect its scenery, to encourage the building of good roads, and to cooperate in other measures of public improvement in the State.” Governor Frank West Rollins was elected its first President and Philip W. Ayres was engaged as forester [a position he continued to hold for the next 34 years]. SPNHF was responsible for establishing the White Mountain National Forest as well as several other smaller conservation areas. For decades it has been the pre-eminent environmental group in the state, concerned with numerous statewide environmental programs. For a history of the first 100 years of the Society, consult Rosemary G. Conroy and Richard Ober, eds. People and Place: The First One Hundred Years (2001).
The SPNHF collection spans the period from before its creation in 1901 up the present day. includes printed materials, speeches, posters, newspaper clippings, photographs, and office files on a variety of subjects such as the creation of the White Mountains National Forest, the Weeks Bill, the public acquisition of forest land, highway beautification, Route 93, the dredging of Lake Umbagog, and hydro-power.