Local family helps Brentwood protect critical open space

October 31, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        Contact: Tom Howe (603) 224-9945
                                                             Karen Finogle (603) 224-9945


Local family helps Brentwood protect
critical open space

The town’s first major land conservation project results in
protection of 170 acres

BRENTWOOD – Two years ago, Victor and Emily Schmalzer rescued 48 acres of land in Brentwood from a proposed 19-lot subdivision.

Recently, the Schmalzers sold a conservation easement on this land to the Town of Brentwood, at a price significantly less than its appraised value, to help the town’s growing commitment to land conservation.

The town raised the $250,000 purchase price from a combination of locally approved funds and a grant from the state Department of Environmental Services’ Water Supply Land Grant Program. The grant money also enabled the town to negotiate easements on two abutting properties, totaling 53 acres, with a half-mile of river frontage. A fourth easement abuts the Schmalzers’s original donation to the Forest Society made three years ago - an easement on 64 acres.

All five easements represent 170 contiguous acres of land permanently protected from development, a significant accomplishment for the Town of Brentwood. These parcels are part of the first major land conservation project undertaken by the town.

Lise McNaughton, chairwoman of the Brentwood Conservation Commission, was instrumental in the success of this project. “The contribution made by the generosity of these landowners will provide open space in Brentwood forever.  That type of gift to future generations cannot be measured in dollars, only in the heart,” McNaughton said.

The protected land has many important features, including a white pine stand; frontage along the Exeter River, where the historic site of the former “Delicate Sawmill” is located; and protection of two public water supplies, including a well serving the local elementary school and the Exeter River supplying the Town of Exeter.

The Forest Society’s water protection specialist, Catherine Hahn, managed the easement transactions, as part of the technical assistance provided by the Forest Society in support of the Department of Environmental Service’s program. The Forest Society also holds an executory interest on the 48-acre Schmalzer easement.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a 10,000-member, nonprofit organization that has helped protect more than one million acres. Visit www.forestsociety.org for more information, or call (603) 224-9945.