Residents Celebrate Protection of Lake Tarleton (NH)

Warren, New Hampshire: Today U.S. Senator Judd Gregg and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) are hosting a celebratory event to mark the protection of nearly 5,300 acres around Lake Tarleton in Warren, Piermont, and Benton. Much of this land has now been added to the White Mountain National Forest, and the remainder has been protected by the state of New Hampshire.

The event is being held on Route 25C in Piermont along the shores of Lake Tarleton. Refreshments will be served at 1:00 PM, followed by a dedication ceremony and a tour of the property. Speakers will include Senator Judd Gregg, White Mountain National Forest Supervisor Donna Hepp, David Houghton and Whitney Hatch of the Trust for Public Land, Jane Difley of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Thomas Deans of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Jeanie McIntyre of the Upper Valley Land Trust, and Peg Brady of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

“Many of us here today have worked hard for a number of years to reach the point we are at today where we can proudly say that this pristine New Hampshire wilderness has been saved,” said U.S. Senator Judd Gregg. “Now future generations will be able to enjoy this wonderful place for many years to come without fear of development. I congratulate all of you who have dedicated long hours to this cause, and I am pleased to have been a part of this effort.” Senator Gregg was instrumental in securing funding for the project through his position on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior.

“As a life long resident of New Hampshire I have enjoyed the beauty of the state’s many natural resources and the recreational opportunities they provide,” said U.S. Representative Charles Bass (R-NH02). “Land conservation projects like Lake Tarleton ensure that today’s residents and future generations will enjoy the quality of life they deserve. It has been a privilege to work with conservation groups, local, state, and federal officials to secure funding for this worthwhile project.”

“The Trust for Public Land has been working on the Lake Tarleton project for more than five years, and we are delighted to be celebrating the protection of this magnificent property. Lake Tarleton is now the largest lake in the White Mountain National Forest,” explained David Houghton, field office director for TPL. “The project has been an incredible team effort, and I especially want to thank New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation for their leadership and support.”

In 1994 Lake Tarleton became the subject of a major resort development plan, which threatened both the water quality of the lake and the value of surrounding forestland as wildlife habitat. Since then, a coalition organized by the Trust for Public Land, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and the Upper Valley Land Trust has raised roughly $7 million to protect Lake Tarleton from development.

Nearly $6 million in federal funds has been appropriated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Forest Legacy Program for the protection of land around Lake Tarleton. In addition, last year the state of New Hampshire acquired 48 acres and a boat ramp on the northwestern tip of the lake for $525,000. And more than 600 individuals, local businesses, and foundations contributed some $450,000 in private funds to the project.

Tom Deans of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation said of the fundraising effort, “A number of very special individual donors made it possible to secure an option on the property pending the availability of the critical federal funds. The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation honors those conservation visionaries at this dedication.”

“The most successful conservation projects start with a vision of what could be and build support over time,” said Jane Difley, president/forester with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “More than five years after the Lake Tarleton effort first began, we are pleased to be part of today’s celebration. Senator Gregg and Congressman Bass are to be commended for their persistence and seeing this project to completion.”

Jeanie McIntyre of the Upper Valley Land Trust remarked, “Lake Tarleton and its nearby lakes and forestland are a crucial piece of the Upper Valley landscape, so while this project has national significance, it is also very important at the local level. The land has provided livelihood and recreational enjoyment for area residents, and its beauty is cherished by natives and newcomers, snowmobilers, skiers, hunters, hikers, and birdwatchers. We celebrate this special event together, with appreciation for the remarkable coalition that has worked to preserve it.”

Lake Tarleton and its smaller sister lakes – Armington, Katherine, and Constance – are surrounded by rich hardwood and spruce-fir forests. The 5,300-acre Lake Tarleton property includes critical watershed lands for these lakes and provides important habitat for songbirds, osprey, loons, lake trout, black bear, and other wildlife.

Members of the Lake Tarleton Task Force include the Appalachian Mountain Club, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Nature Conservancy, North Country Council, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, State of New Hampshire, Town of Piermont, Town of Warren, The Trust for Public Land, Upper Valley Land Trust, and White Mountain National Forest.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1972 to protect land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Nationwide, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres, including nearly 8,500 acres in New Hampshire. For more information, contact TPL’s Montpelier, Vermont, office at (802) 223-1373 or visit them on the Web at