Forest Society Conserves 300+ Acres on Hedgehog Mountain in Deering
The Forest Society recently purchased 316 acres on the westerly slope of Hedgehog Mountain in Deering, NH – a priority focus area of both the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Conservation Initiative and the Town of Deering. This large unbroken forest block is dominated by a prominent ridgeline that ends at Hedgehog Mountain.
The Hedgehog ridge has several open rock faces with multiple overlooks of the Contoocook Valley and the western highlands. The protection of this ridgeline and the surrounding forestlands – including a large open beaver meadow on the eastern portion of the land – will preserve important habitat for wildlife,.
“This project will add to the conservation mosaic of the Quabbin-to-Cardigan region,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “The area’s outstanding wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities make it a high priority for preservation.”
The acquisition will also help preserve water quality within the Contoocook River Watershed, which provides drinking water for many southwestern New Hampshire communities including Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Greenfield, Hancock, Jaffrey, Peterborough, and Sharon.
The Forest Society currently owns several properties on the southern end of the ridgeline, including the 311-acre John and Ann King Forest, 210-acre Deering Preserve, the 54-acre High Five Forest, and the 71-acre Hedgehog Mountain Forest purchased from Joyce and Gordon Blythe in 2007. Although this newly-acquired project does not directly abut the Hedgehog Mountain Forest, the Town of Deering has conserved several smaller parcels that connect the two conservation areas. The town has also completed several conservation projects at the northern end of the ridgeline, including the 82-acre Samuels Easement and 162-acre McAlister Farm Easement.
The Forest Society is working actively with area landowners to conserve the remaining undeveloped tracts of land along or abutting the Hedgehog Mountain ridgeline.
The funding for the property was generously provided by the Tyrrell Foundation, which has helped to fund most of the projects in this area over the last few years.