Newly Protected Farmland in Hillsborough Strengthens Existing Conservation Areas

Brian Hotz | January 30, 2019
Open fields, high-quality wildlife habitat, and two perennial streams are now protected in Hillsborough

Open fields and two perennial streams are part of a new addition to existing conservation land protected in Hillsborough. Photo: Brian Hotz/Forest Society.

In 2005, James and Cynthia Thorburn donated a conservation easement to the Forest Society on more than 25 acres of land in Hillsborough. In 2017, abutting land known as the McCabe property came up for sale. The Thorburns purchased the property in order to conserve much of the land. The land has long been a conservation priority for the Forest Society since it abuts the Society’s Penelope and John Dawson Memorial Forest.

The McCabe property has been farmed for over 100 years and much of the open fields have high-quality farmland soils. The property also is home to high-quality wildlife habitat and will conserve water quality by protecting 120 feet of frontage on two perennial streams, which empty into the Contoocook River. Last year the Thorburns sold two tracts of land, totaling 87 acres, to the Forest Society as an addition to the Penelope and John Dawson Memorial Forest. In the final step to protecting much of the McCabe land, the Thorburns have now graciously add a 17-acre portion of the land to their existing conservation easement, thus conserving the bulk of the open fields forever.