On a Grand Scale

March 9, 2009

It is a region so beautiful and important that it brought together nearly 30 private conservation organizations and public agencies in two states to protect it. The Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative is a collaborative, landscape-scale effort to conserve the Monadnock Highlands of north-central Massachusetts and western New Hampshire. Spanning 100 miles from the Quabbin Reservoir northward to Mount Cardigan and the White Mountain National Forest, the area is bound to the east and west by the Merrimack and Connecticut River valleys.

Encompassing approximately 2 million acres, the Quabbin to Cardigan region includes one of the largest remaining interconnected, ecologically significant forests in central New England, naturally collecting and filtering drinking water for almost 200 cities and towns.

The region’s managed timberlands provide forest products and renewable energy, and are a highly efficient carbon sink. And the interconnected forests could prove an important north-south corridor for wildlife adapting their ranges to a changing climate.

This predominantly rural area is a last frontier in the suburbanization of central New England, with the Quabbin to Cardigan’s private forests undergoing widespread subdivision. The partners working to protect this vast region share a vision of consolidating the permanent protection of the most ecologically significant forest blocks, and key connections between them for wildlife passage and human recreation.

To learn more, visit q2cpartnership.org.

Reprinted from Land Trust Alliance's Saving Land magazine (Winter 2009).