$1 Million Grant to Protect Pond of Safety (NH)

New Hampshire:The Trust for Public Land (TPL) applauds the work of New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg and Representative Charlie Bass in securing $1 million from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy program. The grant, which was announced today, is for the purchase of a conservation easement on forestland surrounding the Pond of Safety in Randolph and Jefferson, New Hampshire.

“Because of its strategic location between the Kilkenny and Presidential Units of the White Mountain National Forest, the Pond of Safety property links together more than 800,000 acres of protected forestland-an area larger than the state of Rhode Island,” said David Houghton, field office director for the Trust for Public Land. “We are grateful to Senator Judd Gregg, Representative Charlie Bass, and the U.S. Forest Service for their strong support of this important conservation initiative.”

Recently, TPL negotiated an agreement to purchase roughly 13,500 acres around the Pond of Safety from several landowners. Over the coming months, TPL and other project supporters will be working to add roughly 3,500 acres to the Kilkenny Unit of the White Mountain National Forest, to raise private funds to enable the town of Randolph to purchase 10,000 acres as a community forest, and to place a conservation easement over the 10,000-acre community forest. The easement will be held by the State of New Hampshire and will provide an extra layer of protection from development.

Last year, thanks to the leadership of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation and the U.S. Forest Service, the State of New Hampshire was awarded $1.5 million from the Forest Legacy Program for the Pond of Safety project. This additional $1 million in FY 2001, announced today, will complement last year’s appropriation and provide the critical funding necessary to allow the State to move forward with the acquisition of the 10,000-acre conservation easement.

At the same time, the Town of Randolph is continuing to work with several organizations, including the Trust for Public Land, the Randolph Foundation, and the Appalachian Mountain Club, to raise $2 million in local and private sources to acquire the 10,000-acre community forest.

Named for a small pond nestled high in the Ammonoosuc River watershed, the Pond of Safety property encompasses nearly 12,000 acres of hardwood forest in Randolph and Jefferson. The property lies between the Presidential and Kilkenny Units of the White Mountain National Forest, and its conservation will connect more than 800,000 acres of forestland. In addition to affording opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling, the land provides important feeding and breeding habitat for black bear, moose, neotropical songbirds, and other wildlife.

Partners in the Pond of Safety project include the Town of Randolph, Randolph Foundation, State of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Congressional delegation, U.S. Forest Service, the Trust for Public Land, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, Randolph Mountain Club, Davis Conservation Foundation, Moriah Fund, and the Anna B. Stearns Fund, and the Stanton and Elisabeth Davis Fund of the Northern New Hampshire Foundation.

The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including nearly 10,000 acres in New Hampshire. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. To learn more, visit www.tpl.org.

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