Kaiser Family Donates Conservation Easement on 48 Acres in Jaffrey and Peterborough

December 14, 2008

Concord, N.H., December 15, 2008 — Debby and Karl Kaiser recently donated a conservation easement on their 48-acre property in Jaffrey and Peterborough to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. 


The land has been in Debby’s family since the early 1970’s, when her grandfather began acquiring land one parcel at a time.  The farmhouse and woods have been an important refuge for Debby on summers and Christmases, when her own children have had an opportunity to learn about the land, the woods and American history during their own visits to the family sanctuary.


“Although my parents were great nature lovers and bought a few adjacent parcels of land to protect the backlands, they never considered conservation as an option,” said Debby. “It was a great joy to me to take this next step in honor of my parents.”


Although most of the land is located in Jaffrey, it and the surrounding area has been identified as a conservation priority by the Peterborough Open Space Committee (OSC).  Debby is on the committee and is very active in encouraging her neighbors to conserve their land. 


“My work on the Peterborough Open Space Committee and the insights gleaned from friends and neighbors made it clear to me that this kind of commitment is not only an option but an urgent necessity,” said Debby. “I believe that those of us who can take the step should forge ahead and set an example, no matter how small.”


Recognizing the responsibilities involved with holding and monitoring conservation easements, the Town of Peterborough prefers to partner with the Forest Society and Monadnock Conservancy to achieve their conservation goals.  The Forest Society holds other easements in this part of town, including a 104-acre easement to the north owned by Robert and Gael Strong, Debby’s cousins. 


“Communities like Jaffrey and Peterborough benefit from the land ethic and foresight of families like the Kaisers and the Strongs, who also have an easement with the Forest Society,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “As the Strongs inspired Debby Kaiser and her family to donate a conservation easement on their land, no doubt the Kaisers’ efforts will help inspire future conservation donors throughout the region.”


Although relatively small in size, the Kaiser’s land contains a variety of different habitat types.   About half the property contains various wetlands, including spruce swamp, red maple swamp, and open wetland and riparian communities that provide habitat for muskrat, beaver, moose, otter, ermine, coyote, great blue heron, bittern, and black duck. About 17 acres of the property has been identified in N.H. Fish & Game’s Wildlife Action Plan as being the highest ranked habitat in the biological region. 


The rest of the property is forested with hardwood, hemlock, white pine, and other mixed woods.  The Kaisers are working with forester Charles Koch, who has prepared a management plan for them to improve wildlife habitat on the property. 


This easement will also protect possible drinking water supplies: 22 of the property’s acres overlie a stratified-drift aquifer. 


Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Society’s mission is to perpetuate the forests of New Hampshire by establishing permanent conservation areas and promoting the wise stewardship of private lands. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.


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