Mother-Daughter Duo Donate Conservation Easement in Easton

May 15, 2012

Mother-Daughter Duo Donate Conservation Easement in Easton

Ruth Ward and Kristina Pastoriza have donated a conservation easement on 361 acres in Easton, tucked into the northwest reaches of the White Mountain National Forest.

Why the fame?  Because these two conservationists are also Anti-Northern-Pass activists.  It seems fairly certain that their "fame" has spread to the offices of PSNH, where a map undoubtedly hangs showing Northern Pass bisecting their beautiful landscape.  While the easement cannot stop the use of the existing power line, it should make expanding it onto the easement property very difficult indeed.

On the east side of North and South Kinsman mountains lies the narrow valley of Franconia Notch; the west side of these mountains overlooks a broader valley, full of brooks that join and become the Ham Branch of the Gale River.  West of these brooks the land rises again to the Jericho Trail on the Cooley-Cole Ridge.  This newly conserved land encompasses the brooks in the valley (three miles of shoreline!), the hayfields on the valley floor, and steep, forested slopes rising to a mountain plateau.  On this high meadow Kris maintains a small cabin, an extensive garden, and a hand sown wheat field.  In the valley below Ruth and Kris maintain another garden and small orchard.  This land has been in agricultural production for at least 180 years, when it was the forward edge of settlement pushing up the Connecticut River valley.

Ruth is also a Forest Society land steward.  Not content to care only for her assigned Forest Society land in Stoddard, she is an inveterate trail builder, who has left her mark on Mount Monadnock during the Forest Society's Trails Week.  These two women demonstrate that the Forest Society is more than a land trust--it is a true "Society" of people dedicated to living well and carefully on the land.

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 Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit