Forest Society Receives $500K Gift for Easement Stewardship

December 25, 2012

Funds will support ongoing monitoring of conservation easements

Concord, N.H., Dec. 21 -- Thanks to a major gift from an anonymous donor, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has fortified its easement stewardship fund substantially.

A Forest Society life-member who has generously supported the organization’s land protection efforts contributed $500,000 to the Easement Stewardship Endowment. Proceeds from this endowment are used to support the monitoring of the more than 750 conservation easements held in perpetuity by the Forest Society. Collectively those easements protect more than 120,000 acres, including working forests, critical wildlife habitat, drinking water resources and farmland.

"Over the coming decades, pressure both from private and public sources on conserved land will be intense," said the donor. "It is absolutely critical to its mission that the Forest Society have the resources to monitor and protect the easements that it has procured on thousands of acres over the past half century."

Conservation easements were introduced to New Hampshire in the early 1970s as a means to permanently protect important conservation values while allowing the land to stay in private hands and remain productive.

"Our easement donors well understand the need to monitor conservation easements regularly and our commitment to doing so," said Jane Difley, Forest Society president/forester. "Our easement stewardship staff does a terrific job working with aerial imagery and on-site visits to make sure that the terms of any easement are upheld, and that the conservation values of the easement property continue to be protected.

“We’re extremely grateful for a substantial gift like this,” Difley said. “It is particularly meaningful coming from a person so supportive of our land protection efforts, and I know that it was given in the hopes that it will inspire others.”

Donations to the Easement Stewardship Fund can be made online at or by contacting Susanne Kibler-Hacker at or by phone at 603-224-9945. The Forest Society is a private, non-profit land trust and forestry organization established in 1901. It currently holds more than 750 conservation easements statewide permanently protecting more than 120,000 acres of New Hampshire’s landscapes. The Forest Society also owns 171 forest reservations constituting more than 50,000 acres in 105 New Hampshire communities.