Land Exchange completed between Umbagog Refuge and State of New Hampshire

January 7, 2014
Errol, New Hampshire

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service exchanged a 233-acre parcel of land in the Town of Errol for a conservation easement on New Hampshire's Big Island State Forest in Wentworth's Location. The Big Island State Forest conservation easement area will become part of Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge and a new state forest will be created in Errol.

"This is a win-win deal for wildlife and people," said Paul Casey, refuge manager of Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. "High quality wildlife habitat will be managed by the refuge while the public will permanently gain an important connection in the new north country all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, trail." The exchange gives the Service rare silver maple floodplain forest and mixed wood habitat that supports migratory birds and waterfowl including rusty blackbirds, wood ducks, common goldeneyes, and many warbler species.

The Service will pay the State $6,200 in addition to the 233-acre parcel to complete the exchange. For this, the Service will receive a conservation easement of over 280 acres. The easement lies on both sides of Route 16 in Wentworth's Location, New Hampshire.

The Trust for Public Land facilitated the transaction. "We were pleased to help," said Rodger Krussman, New Hampshire Director for The Trust for Public Land. "We want to protect land for people to enjoy and today's announcement means people who use ATVs will have access to the Seven Island Bridge, and the Ride the Wilds ATV trail system in the area. It also will maintain high quality wildlife habitat protection around Lake Umbagog and the Magalloway River."

The Service and the State have been working on this exchange for over a year, which will help each agency meet their mission. The refuge will manage wildlife habitat of Big Island State Forest consistent with their management of adjacent refuge lands. The State will establish a new forest with the exchanged refuge lands, which will include an important connection in the ATV and snowmobile trail network.