New England Land Conservation Achievements for 2001

Boston, MA: Today, the New England Regional Office of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization, announced its conservation achievements in the year 2001: the protection of more than 26,000 acres in New England, and the launch of a new 171,5000 project in New Hampshire. Highlights include:

New Projects:

Connecticut Headwaters, Coos County, NH

In September, TPL announced its agreement to purchase 171,500 acres in northern New Hampshire from International Paper Company. The largest contiguous block of New Hampshire land in private ownership, this property is the backbone of the local economy, providing both timber-related jobs and a popular tourist destination for hiking, snowmobiling, fishing, and hunting. It also surrounds three of the Connecticut River’s four headwater lakes and proves habitat for 67 rare and endangered wildlife species.

To help establish how such a large block of conservation land should be used, U.S. Senator Judd Gregg and Governor Jeanne Shaheen convened a task force charged with developing a comprehensive plan for the land’s future and, in the process, building consensus around many issues, such as how to ensure sustainable forestry practices and how much of the land should be protected as natural areas. In addition, TPL is working with elected officials, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and The Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire to raise private contributions and public funding for the project.

Recently Completed Projects:

Stanley Tool Company Lands, Chittenden, Pittsfield and Killington, VT

TPL helped protect more than 7,500 acres, including six mountain peaks and several popular hiking trails, as an addition to the Green Mountain National Forest. The majority of the property, some 6,500 acres, is located in Chittenden, with roughly 900 acres in Pittsfield, and just over 100 acres in Killington. Owned for many years by the Stanley Tool Company, the property once supplied timber for the manufacture of handles for hammers, axes, and other hand tools. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Patrick Leahy and the Vermont Congressional delegation, last year Congress appropriated roughly $3.3 million last year for this purchase from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Treetops Estate, Greenwich and Stamford, CT

After a three-month fundraising campaign, the Treetops estate was permanently protected as open space. The Trust for Public Land purchased 94 acres from International Paper and then transferred it to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Conservation easements were granted to the municipalities of Greenwich and Stamford, Greenwich Land Trust, Stamford Land Conservation Trust, and the Connecticut-American Water Company. International Paper retained ownership of the Treetops mansion and approximately 17 acres of adjoining land. Straddling the Greenwich and Stamford border, the 111-acre Treetops property is one of the largest parcels of open space in Fairfield County. It is home to several rare and declining species, including the Eastern box turtle, spotted salamander, and fairy shrimp and plays a critical role in buffering local drinking water supplies.

Pond of Safety, Randolph and Jefferson, NH

After more than two years of hard work by a coalition of Randolph residents, officials, and nonprofit organizations, the Town of Randolph created a new Community Forest when it purchased 10,198 acres from TPL. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development simultaneously purchased a conservation easement over the land, which will permanently prohibit development and stipulate sustainable forestry practices. The majority of the property-some 8,983 acres-is in Randolph, and the remainder of the land lies in neighboring Jefferson.

Named for a small pond nestled high in the Ammonoosuc River watershed, the Pond of Safety property is located between the Presidential and Kilkenny Units of the White Mountain National Forest, connecting more than 800,000 acres of conserved forestland. In addition to affording opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, fishing, and snowmobiling, the land provides important feeding and breeding habitat for black bear, moose, neotropical songbirds, and other wildlife.

Fuller Farm, Scarborough, ME

The Scarborough Land Conservation Trust and TPL worked to permanently protect the 150-acre Fuller Farm and an adjacent 30 acres, known as the Blue Rock property. Located on Broadturn Road in western Scarborough, the land has long been a conservation priority because of its scenic beauty, value for recreation, and wildlife habitat. The Fuller Farm properties include more than 3,000 feet of frontage on the Nonesuch River, which feeds the 3,100-acre Scarborough Marsh-the largest saltwater marsh in Maine. TPL and the Scarborough Land Trust worked together to raise the more than $700,000 needed to complete the project. The state’s Land for Maine’s Future Program granted $250,000, the Town of Scarborough contributed $215,000, and over $235,000 was raised from approximately 300 private supporters.

Watt Farm, Harvard, MA

TPL, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Town of Harvard, and Harvard Conservation Trust announced the addition of 112 acres on Still River Depot Road in Harvard to the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. Thanks to the hard work of Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and Congressman Martin Meehan, last year Congress allocated funding for this acquisition from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This scenic gateway to the Refuge provides breeding habitat for several declining species of grassland-nesting birds.

200th Project Celebration, Boston, MA

On September 5, more than 150 guests gathered in Boston to help TPL celebrate the completion of 200 projects in New England. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and TPL president Will Rogers welcomed guests for an evening of festivities, remembrances, and thanks. Other speakers included TPL regional director Whitney Hatch, Boston Parks Commissioner Justine Liff, TPL Board Members Jamie Hoyte and George Denny, New England advisory board member Kathy Bachman, Jim Robbins of Searsmont, Maine, and David Ogilvy of Greenwich, Connecticut. Speakers highlighted a number of landmark TPL projects throughout the region, including Walden Pond in Massachusetts, Nicatous Lake in Maine, and the Treetops Estate in Connecticut.

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 3,000 acres in Connecticut. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the second year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs.