NH Land Conservation Achievements for 2001

Concord, NH: 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 17,000 acres in New Hampshire. Highlights include:

New Projects:

CT Headwaters, Coos County
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.

Completed Projects:

Carter Hill Orchard, Concord
This Concord orchard was protected permanently after a yearlong campaign to save the property from development. Known for its spectacular views extending to Mount Moosilauke and Mount Cardigan, Sunnycrest Orchard includes 50 rolling acres of mature fruit trees and a thriving farm stand. TPL purchased the 155-acre property on Carter Hill Road from Sunnycrest Farm, Inc. and arranged for a conservation easement over the land to be granted jointly to the City of Concord and the Concord Conservation Trust. The property was then purchased for continued use as a working farm and community resource by the orchard’s longtime manager, Rob Larocque, and his wife, Annette Larocque. Funding for the protection of the orchard included: a contribution of $150,000 from the City of Concord, a grant of $405,000 from the State of New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, a grant of $300,000 from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Farmland Protection Program, and $345,000 in private donations. Project supporters included the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation, Friends of the Orchard, Concord Conservation Trust, City of Concord, State of New Hampshire, and many others. More information about the Carter Hill Orchard.

Piper Trailhead, Albany
The White Mount National Forest and the Trust for Public Land worked together to permanently protect 60 acres in Albany as an addition to the National Forest. Located behind Route 16 just north of Chocorua Lake, the land lies adjacent to the National Forest and includes the base of the Piper Trail, which was established in 1875 and leads to the summit of Mt. Chocorua. Thanks to the leadership of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, especially Senator Judd Gregg and Rep. Charlie Bass, Congress appropriated nearly $400,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for the purchase last year.

Lake Umbagog, Errol
TPL helped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 6,218 acres in Errol as an addition to the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. The property consists of five forested parcels, all of which lie within the acquisition boundary that was established for the Refuge in 1992. Last year, thanks to the support of Senator Judd Gregg, Representative Charlie Bass, and the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation, Congress appropriated funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to purchase the land and add it to the refuge.One of New Hampshire’s most wild and scenic lakes, 8,500-acre Lake Umbagog supports moose, waterfowl, songbirds, loons, osprey, bald eagles, and other wildlife, which use the nearly 15,000 acres now owned and managed by the Refuge to raise their young.

Pond of Safety, Randolph and JeffersonAfter 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.

Kusumpe Pond, Sandwich
TPL and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust announced the protection of 87 acres along the pristine shores of Kusumpe Pond near Squam Lake. This acquisition completed a critical phase in the effort to protect the entire shoreline of Kusumpe Pond. The 52-acre pond and surrounding woodlands provide important breeding and feeding habitat for many wildlife species, including common loons, moose, bear, and neotropical songbirds. In addition, residents and visitors use the pond and its pristine shores for canoeing, birdwatching, hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting, and other traditional forms of outdoor recreation.

Sawyer Farm, Walpole
TPL and the Monadnock Conservancy announced the completion of a multi-year effort to protect the 137-acre Sawyer Farm on River Road. Forty-three acres were purchased by the Town of Walpole, and a conservation easement over 93 acres was granted to the Monadnock Conservancy and the State of New Hampshire. The first farm conserved by TPL as part of its New Hampshire Farmland Protection Initiative, this farmland includes some of the most productive soils in the state. In addition to funding from the Town of Walpole and a federal grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, nearly $160,000 in private funds was raised for the acquisition and protection of the property as a working farm. Supporters of this project included the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation, Monadnock Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land.

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, Carter Hill Orchard in New Hampshire, 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 30,000 acres in New Hampshire. 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.