87 Acres Protected on Kusumpe Pond (NH)

LAKES REGION, NH: The pond is one few in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region with an entirely undeveloped shoreline. The area provides important habitat for loons, moose, bear, and songbirds while providing visitors and residents with outdoor recreation. So far, TPL and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) have raised over $1.1 million from private supporters to acquire and protect 339 acres of shoreline. Fundraising continues for additional conservation.

“Kusumpe Pond is an extraordinary resource because it is one of the few ponds in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region that has retained its entire undeveloped shoreline,” explained TPL project manager Rodger Krussman. “This project would not have been possible without the efforts of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, Squam Lakes Conservation Society, and more than 50 private supporters, including the Tarleton Fund of the Upper Valley Community Foundation, a regional division of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Together, we have preserved a New Hampshire treasure.”

“This acquisition is an incredible accomplishment, but even as we enjoy our success, we must continue to build momentum,” said Tom Curren, president of LRCT. “We are deeply grateful to the many private supporters who have made gifts and pledges to support our efforts. Over the next year, we will be reaching out to even more supporters to raise funds to continue land conservation efforts around Kusumpe Pond. Thanks to the strong support of the community, we are optimistic that we will reach our ultimate goal of protecting the Pond in its entirety for future generations.”

Fifty-two-acre Kusumpe Pond and surrounding woodlands provide important breeding and feeding habitat for many wildlife species, including common loons, moose, bear, and neotropical songbirds. In addition, the pond and its pristine shores are used by residents and visitors for canoeing, birdwatching, hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting, and other traditional forms of outdoor recreation.

Last August, TPL negotiated an agreement to purchase 121 acres on Kusumpe Pond from Thomas Coolidge of Falls Village, Connecticut, and began working in partnership with the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and private supporters to protect the land permanently. At the same time, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust launched a fundraising campaign to purchase an adjacent 218-acre property, also on Kusumpe Pond. Over the intervening months, TPL and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust have raised more than $1.1 million from area supporters to complete both acquisitions.

Today, the last stage of this 339-acre project was completed when TPL transferred 87 acres to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, which will own and manage the property for wildlife habitat and low-impact recreation. As an added layer of protection, the Squam Lakes Conservation Society will hold a conservation easement over the property.

Peter Van Winkle, president of the Squam Lakes Conservation Society, said, “The Kusumpe Pond project demonstrates the enormous success of conservation partnerships. A decade ago, we worked with the Trust for Public Land to save Bowman Island, and it is now a stunning destination site for townspeople, as well as for visitors from throughout the United States. We work with the Lakes Region Conservation Trust almost every week on Squam watershed projects to conserve and protect land in an era of accelerated development and land sales. Generations of residents and visitors will benefit tremendously from the work of these wonderful organizations, and this region will forever be the beautiful and unique area that it has always been.”

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of lands of conservation valued in the central lakes region of New Hampshire. Founded in 1979, the Trust’s mission is to acquire properties with significant conservation value and protect them in perpetuity. The Trust seeks to preserve wildlife habitat and clean water resources, to establish and maintain public access to conservation land, and to protect the rural character of the region.

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 60,000 acres in New England. 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.