Today is such a moment. Today the Society for the Protection of NH Forests has an opportunity to defend the state's greatest asset, our scenic working landscape, from the biggest threat of our generation.
The Forest Society is working with landowners in New Hampshire's North Country to permanently protect more than 2,000 acres of forests, fields and views through permanent conservation easements. These lands lie directly in the obvious intended path of Northern Pass, and thus disrupt the project's ability to move forward with that route.
McAllaster Farm. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.
The McAllaster Farm, 1,000 acres including a working dairy farm, maple sugaring operation and certified Tree Farm, lies on the slopes of Mudgett Mountain in Stewartstown. A hiking and snowmobile trail climbs to the height of land, offering views east to Dixville Notch and the famed Balsams resort, west across Vermont and south all the way to Mount Washington on a clear day.
Along the ridge just west of the McAllaster Farm lies another 500 acres owned by Green Acre Woodlands. The property offers scenic views out to all four points of the compass. This easement will guarantee public access for hiking, hunting, bird watching and other recreational uses.
A third property, abutting the southern boundary of the Balsams in Columbia, NH, connects the now protected Balsams landscape to the state's Nash Stream Forest. The conservation easement on 300 acres will permanently protect more than a mile of frontage on Roaring Brook, which feeds the Mohawk River which flows into the Upper Connecticut River.
Additional landowners have come forward and agreed to enable us to permanently protect their properties from towers and transmission lines. If we are successful in raising the needed funds we will block the intended route of Northern Pass. Doing so is our best opportunity to save two-thirds of our state from this unnecessary blight.
These properties are reflective of a broader scenic landscape that is one of New Hampshire's greatest assets. And yet, incredibly, there are those who would carelessly despoil it, and in doing so threaten existing conserved lands across 180 miles of our state, including the White Mountain National Forest.
Northeast Utilities and PSNH want to build a private high-voltage transmission line for the exclusive use of Canada's mega-utility, Hydro Quebec.
Thirty communities have voted to oppose the Northern Pass proposal. Thousands of individuals have made their feelings clear to the governor and other elected officials—Northern Pass as proposed is not welcome in New Hampshire.
And yet still they persist, buying up forests and farms to convert to a power line corridor. Hydro Quebec wants to export more than four times the power represented by the Northern Pass proposal. If we permit the corridor to be built, we can only expect more towers and power lines in the future.
Today is the day to say no. Today is the day to create our legacy. These blocking actions clearly disrupt the intended route of the proposed Northern Pass project. We will continue to talk with other landowners, legislators, and our lawyers to pursue all options for permanently protecting New Hampshire's scenic landscape.
We need to raise $1.25 million to close these transactions. We are already more than halfway toward our overall $2.5 million fundraising goal, having received thousands of donations from residents of 191 New Hampshire towns. We will only reach our goal with your support and the support of all those who value New Hampshire's scenic landscapes.
Please make a generous donation to save our scenery and fight back against Northern Pass.
For more information, contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at or 603-224-9945.
It's no small thing to have created a family legacy that goes back eight generations. It's a giant accomplishment to protect that legacy. The Forest Society is working with the owners of the Wilkins Lumber Company to do just that, but we need your help.
The Wilkins family is hoping to conserve approximately 500 acres in the increasingly developed towns of Mont Vernon and Amherst by selling conservation easements on five separate blocks of long-held working forestland at a bargain-sale rate. The Forest Society needs to raise $190,000 by September 30 to cover the modest purchase price and to offset the surveying, legal and other costs of the easements.
Wilkins Lumber was founded in 1808 by E.L. Hartshorn, who built a sawmill next to the brook on his farm in Milford. In the late 1800s, Hartshorn descendants married into the Wilkins family, who continued to operate and improve the mill. Always a source of local lumber, Wilkins Lumber has survived the Great Depression, the Hurricane of '38, a fire started by a lightning strike and ongoing market challenges. Acquiring their own working timberlands and managing them well was one key to the family business's longevity.
The 500 acres are an open-space patchwork in the towns of Mont Vernon and Amherst. The five conservation easements will secure permanent pedestrian public access to the lands. The easements will protect forest, wetlands and streams that feed the Souhegan and Piscataquog rivers in the Merrimack River watershed. Like any well-managed working forest, the Wilkins acreage is home to diverse wildlife such as songbirds, amphibians, deer, moose and bears.
Please help us perpetuate the Wilkins family's legacy of providing open spaces for all to enjoy!
Grafton Pond is a pristine, largely undeveloped, 320 acre pond in Grafton, NH. The Forest Society has protected 930 acres surrounding the pond, including more than 6 miles of shoreline on our Grafton Pond Reservation. The pond has increased in popularity in recent years and currently receives thousands of visitors each summer season. The Forest Society, along with the Friends of Grafton Pond and other partners, has been actively engaged in providing outreach to visitors through the Lake Host program. This outreach includes information about preventing the spread of invasive aquatic weeds, packing in/packing out all trash, respecting and protecting wildlife populations (including nesting loons on the pond) and current boating regulations. We also provide portable toilet and trash facilities at the boat ramp for the convenience of visitors. Please help us provide these valuable services by donating to the Grafton Pond Stewardship Fund.
Help the Forest Society Protect Treasured Open Space in Pittsburg
Whether you live in or enjoy visiting the Great North Woods, chances are you’ve stopped along some roadside just to take in the view and let the sight of open country renew your spirit.
Maple Ridge Farm along Tabor Road in Pittsburg offers such renewal for all who pass by. The Forest Society needs your help to buy conservation easements on 282 acres of this beautiful property to ensure that it will remain open space forever.
Named a “Farm of Distinction” by the N.H. Department of Food, Agriculture and Markets, Maple Ridge is a noted local community resource. It’s an important property not only for its pastoral views, local history, and working agricultural landscape. The farm also has significant frontage along the Connecticut River and Indian Stream, protects local water quality, and supports excellent wildlife habitats for a wealth of bird species, as well as moose, deer, bear, and snowshoe hare.
Indian Brook. Photo by Chris Borg.
Maple Ridge Farm is operated by Roy Amey and his wife Laurel and has been in family ownership for several generations. Maple Ridge is also adjacent to Indian Stream Farm, an already-protected property owned by Roy’s brother John. Together, these two farms dominate the viewscape seen from the Forest Society’s Washburn Family Forest.
Easements would permanently protect Maple Ridge from future development while supporting its continued use as an organic livestock farm and sustainably managed forest. In fact, more than half of the property is composed of working forest lands. Additionally, the farm boasts 4,300 feet of frontage along Indian Stream and 500 feet of frontage along the Connecticut River at the confluence of these two noted streams. Easements along these reaches would grant anglers continued fishing access.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Wildlife Action Plan has categorized more than a third of the property as “tier 1,” containing the highest ranking habitats by ecological condition in the state.
With its combination of wetland, forest, and grassland habitats, the farm’s countryside supports a wide array of biological diversity. State-endangered northern harriers are known to use the property, as do two species of special concern in New Hampshire, the American kestrel and cliff swallow. Other noteworthy bird species using the property include bobolink, northern goshawk, ruffed grouse, savannah sparrow, Wilson’s snipe, and several warblers.
Collectively, these attributes make Maple Ridge Farm a key piece of the iconic Indian Stream valley. Your donation now will help the Forest Society forever keep these lands a haven for both wildlife and people.
The Forest Society holds conservation easements on more than 110,000 acres. When landowners convey a conservation easement to the Forest Society, they are both expressing their desire to keep their land forever open, and trusting the Forest Society to ensure that this goal is met.
The 11,000-acre Andorra Forest, which spans
five towns including Washington, Stoddard,
Sullivan, Marlon and Gilsum, is one of the many
conservation easements monitored by the Forest
Society. Photo: Geoff Jones
We need your help to fulfill that obligation.
Once a conservation easement is in place, the Forest Society bears the responsibility of regularly monitoring the land to ensure the terms of the easement are respected – in perpetuity.
The Conservation Easement Stewardship Endowment was created to ensure that the land on which the Forest Society holds conservation easements remains in the undeveloped state that the original landowner sought to preserve. For every new easement, we must add $10,000 to the Endowment. Income from the Easement Stewardship Endowment supports our professional work to ensure the integrity of the more than 700 conservation easements we hold.
Contribute to the Easement Stewardship Endowment today to make sure that the integrity of farms, forests, wetlands and scenic landscapes across the state remains intact forever – which is a very long time.
Please use the Donate Now! Button below or send a check to:
Forest Society Easement Stewardship Endowment
54 Portsmouth St.
Concord, NH 03301