NH Conservation Achievements for 2002

CONCORD, New Hampshire, 1/1/2003: Today, the New Hampshire office of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization, announced its conservation achievements in the year 2001 – the protection of nearly 30,000 acres in New Hampshire. Highlights include:

Connecticut Headwaters, Coos County
The effort to protect this 171,000-acre property, the largest unbroken tract of privately owned forestland in the state, reached a major milestone in March 2002 when TPL purchased the property from International Paper. Another milestone was reached yesterday when the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, with assistance from The Nature Conservancy, purchased a 25,000-acre portion of the property in Pittsburg and Clarksville for management as Natural Areas. TPL continues to own the roughly 146,000 remaining acres, and intends to sell all but 100 acres to Lyme Timber Co., with a permanent conservation easement to be held by the State. The final 100 acres will be sold to the State as an addition to the Deer Mountain Campground operated by the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.

Moat Mountain and Red Ridge Trails, Bartlett
Last summer, TPL helped add 325 acres in Bartlett to the White Mountain National Forest. Entirely surrounded by the National Forest and the Echo Lake-Cathedral Ledge State Park, the land includes portions of the Moat Mountain and Red Ridge Trails, both popular hiking paths that are often combined to form a loop hike over the summit of North Moat Mountain. The parcel also contains the western portion of Cathedral Ledge, a well-known rock climbing site and home to peregrine falcons. Thanks to the leadership of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, especially Senator Judd Gregg and Representatives Charlie Bass, Congress appropriated money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for the project. This project was part of TPL’s White Mountains Conservation Initiative, a long-term effort to protect popular trails and trailheads and link the Presidential and Kilkenny Units of the National Forest with a mix of federal, state, municipal, and private conservation land.

Pond of Safety, Randolph and Jefferson
Major achievements were reached in this collaborative effort to conserve approximately 13,000 acres around the Pond of Safety. In 2001, with help from TPL, the Town of Randolph purchased roughly 10,200 acres to create the Randolph Community Forest. At the same time, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development purchased a conservation easement over the land. In March of 2002 nearly 2,900 adjacent acres were added to the White Mountain National Forest. The land was formerly owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group and the Gorham Land Company. The Pond of Safety property is strategically located between the two units of the National Forest. By linking together the Presidential and Kilkenny Mountain Ranges, the land connects more than 800,000 acres of conserved forestland.

Just over $3 million was allocated from the federal Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund to fund both the conservation easement and the National Forest purchase, due to the support of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation. Funding for the town’s purchase was provided by a $250,000 grant from the State’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program and more than $1 million in private contributions.

Kimball Pond, Dunbarton
Last July, TPL helped the Dunbarton Conservation Commission acquire 699 acres around Kimball Pond. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development also purchased a permanent conservation easement over the land, and over an adjacent 325 acres of existing town conservation land. Formerly owned by the Nassikas Corporation, the completely undeveloped property is located within 15 miles of both Concord and Manchester in fast growing southern New Hampshire. Funding for the project came from the federal Forest Legacy Program, the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Town of Dunbarton, and private supporters. Now grown to 1,024 acres, the Kimball Pond Conservation Area supports populations of several rare species, including the American bittern, Blanding’s turtle, New England cottontail, and pied-billed grebe, and offers abundant opportunities for recreation.

Corneliusen Farm, Derry
In August, as part of its Farmland Protection Initiative in southern New Hampshire, TPL helped the Town of Derry conserve the 86-acre Corneliusen Farm as well as 30 adjacent acres of active farmland. Thanks to funding from municipal, state, federal, and private sources, the property’s scenic views, wildlife habitat, trails, and prime agricultural soils have been permanently protected from development.

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 60,000 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, for the third year in a row.