Connecticut Lakes Timeline Extended (NH)

PITTSBURG, NH, 12/19/01: The Trust for Public Land announced today that its agreement to purchase 171,500 acres in northern New Hampshire from International Paper has been extended. Under the terms of the revised agreement, TPL has until March 29, 2002 to acquire the land. TPL had previously planned to purchase the property from International Paper by December 31, 2001.

“We are making good progress on finalizing all the details of this purchase, but it’s going to take a little longer than originally expected,” said David Houghton, field office director for the Trust for Public Land. “Because we have encountered some unexpected delays in completing the appraisal and title review of the property, we now expect to take ownership of the property in March.” A finalized appraisal of the property, which will determine the purchase price, is expected in January.

TPL plans to hold the property off the market while state lawmakers and New Hampshire’s congressional delegation seek public funding to conserve the property. At the same time, TPL will work with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, The Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire, and others to raise private funds for the purchase. Based on recent sales in the area, the value of the property is expected to be between $30 and $35 million.

Last week, the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Partnership Task Force released its final recommendations for the land, which included the purchase of a conservation easement covering the entire property by the State of New Hampshire, the sale of 146,500 acres to a private timberland investor, and acquisition of 25,000 acres for management as natural areas by the State. The Task Force, which was convened jointly by U.S. Senator Judd Gregg and Governor Jeanne Shaheen, included local residents, North Country leaders, state and federal officials, and nonprofit organizations.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres nationwide, including nearly 20,000 acres in New Hampshire.