Protecting forests is what we do. For more than a century, we’ve been entrusted with the work of conserving and caring for the forests of New Hampshire.
As a supporter of the Forest Society, it’s what you do too. I hope you will take a moment to recognize the real impact your dollars have, and that you’ll continue your generous support with a year-end gift to the Forest Society’s Annual Fund.
Our collective work is as important today as it has ever been. Keeping forests vital and resilient is one of the best things we can do to reduce the impacts of climate change. We also know that time spent in nature has a measurable positive effect on human health and wellness; that forests are essential to the New Hampshire economy, through tourism, recreation, and production of durable wood products; and that wildlife emblematic of our state – moose, bears, deer, bobcats – all need large undeveloped lands to survive and thrive.
This year, with your help, we’ve conserved more than 4,400 acres of forests, fields, and wetlands across the state. The Forest Society now holds 63,000 acres in permanent ownership and protects an additional 135,000 acres through conservation easements.
Here is just a sampling of the work accomplished this year – all of it possible thanks to your support:
Our recent effort to conserve 3,700 acres of forestland in Shelburne (pictured above) embodies many of our core goals. Now forever protected, this magnificent landscape and recreation destination borders both the Androscoggin River and the Appalachian Trail; offers public access, wildlife habitat, water quality, and forest resources; and extends a chain of connected lands that reaches from the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire to Grafton Notch in Maine along the beautiful Mahoosuc Mountain Range.
And, in the Belknap Mountains overlooking Alton Bay, we’ve recently protected 482 acres adjacent to the Forest Society’s 457-acre Evelyn H. and Albert D. Morse, Sr. Preserve, creating a connected corridor of forestland encompassing more than 1,200 acres that provides important watershed protection to Lake Winnipesaukee, and helps ensure that wetland systems and habitat for wide-ranging wildlife are kept intact.
Managing these lands over the long-term and nurturing connections between people and nature is equally important to achieving our mission. Our foresters and stewardship staff are putting research and best management practices into action every day.
This year at our Gardner Forest in Hollis, we made strides in restoring a plant species rare to New Hampshire – the butterfly milkweed – that supports pollinators like bees, beetles, and butterflies, including monarchs.
We also worked with over 300 volunteers to improve trails, clean up after floods and storms, and educate visitors at Forest Society properties, including Mt. Major in Alton, The Rocks in Bethlehem, Creek Farm in Portsmouth, and the Merrimack River Outdoor Education and Conservation Area in Concord. And we partnered with Concord Hospital to highlight the importance of time in nature to physical and mental wellness, culminating with our 5 Hikes Challenge, which inspired hundreds of participants to explore Forest Society properties.
In the year to come, we have the opportunity to move forward with projects that include:
- Protecting the 208-acre Morrill Dairy Farm “home farm” property, with more than 2.5 miles of frontage on the oxbows and main stem of the Merrimack River in Penacook.
- Conserving nearly 700 acres in Berlin that will add to a block of over 18,000 acres protected by the Randolph and Gorham Town Forests and will offer access to walking trails from Berlin. This land includes high elevation wetlands that provide habitat for wildlife, ranging from spotted salamanders to moose.
- Improving the visitor experience and natural resource protection at Mt. Major, where we’ll be building a sustainable trail that reduces the erosion and run-off that has plagued the main trail for decades.
- Completing the transformation at Forest Society North at The Rocks into a North Country hub for conservation, recreation, education, and forest stewardship, as our net-zero program center fully opens to the public and we launch new and renewed education programs and events.
- Developing new strategies for forest management in the era of climate change. With partners, we have experimental work in progress at the Peirce Reservation in Stoddard and the Dudley Pond Forest in Deering that will inform future management practices in a changing world.
I hope you will join me in making a year-end donation to the Forest Society’s Annual Fund today, and that you’ll enjoy the return on your investment in the years to come.
All of this work relies on support from friends like you. Your contribution has a direct impact that you can see, feel, and experience every day.
See you in the woods!
P.S. If you've already given to our annual fund, we are grateful! If not, your year-end gift, large or small, when combined with the help of others, makes great accomplishments possible. Thank you!