FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2005
Chris Wells, Forest Society, 603-224-9945 / 603-496-9246 cell or
Joyce El Kouarti, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, 603-817-8260
SENATOR JUDD GREGG SECURES $1 MILLION GRANT TO CONSERVE 2,100+ ACRES IN MOOSE MOUNTAINS
$125,000 in private donations needed to complete $2.4 million project
MIDDLETON, N.H.—Senator Judd Gregg today formally announced a new $1 million federal grant to protect more than 2,100 acres of undeveloped forestland in the Moose Mountains. The funding will come from the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). Administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the program funds the conservation of sensitive coastal watershed land.
Located at the heart of one of the last pristine watersheds in coastal New Hampshire, the 2,100-acre Moose Mountains conservation project will protect a key headwater of the Salmon Falls-Piscataqua River and Great Bay and help protect the drinking water of downstream communities. The project will also conserve outstanding forest, wildlife habitat, recreational, and scenic resources in one of New Hampshire’s fastest growing regions. The property is located in the towns of Middleton and Brookfield, which both strongly support the project.
Senator Gregg said “we are justifiably proud of our quality of life in New Hampshire. But because our state is such a desirable place to live, rapid growth and development threaten to change our state’s character. The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, along with leaders from the Moose Mountain Regional Greenways and Middleton and Brookfield, have been leading the effort to protect the resources, like Moose Mountain, which best define New Hampshire, while at the same time working to find a balance between conservation and development. This is the major challenge we face and I want to thank everyone who has worked to protect this critical land.”
The new federal grant puts the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (the Forest Society) and its local partner Moose Mountain Regional Greenways (MMRG) within sight of raising the $2.4 million needed to complete the project. In response to an application submitted by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways and strongly supported by the Forest Society, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation had already secured a federal Forest Legacy grant of nearly $1 million in 2003. In recent months, the Forest Society and MMRG have raised $275,000 in private contributions towards the project. The two groups hope to raise the last $125,000 in private donations by this fall, and complete the purchase of the property by year’s end. For more information on how to donate to the Moose Mountain project, please contact Anne Truslow at 603-224-9945.
Once the land is purchased, it will be owned and managed in perpetuity by the Forest Society, which currently manages 144 forest reservations totaling 38,000 acres around the state. The State of New Hampshire will hold a conservation easement on the property, monitored by the State’s Division of Forests and Lands.
"This grant is fantastic news for New Hampshire," said New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Sean O’Kane. "Protecting New Hampshire’s forests is of paramount importance to our department and with the assistance of our partners, we will be able to conserve some of the state’s most beautiful and pristine land. We’re thrilled to be part of this exemplary project."
"We are enormously grateful to Senator Gregg for securing funding from the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program for the protection of the Moose Mountain property, and to Senator Sununu and Congressman Bradley for their strong support of the appropriation," said Jane Difley, president of the Forest Society. "It is no exaggeration to say this project would have been impossible without it. Thanks to our congressional delegation, today we have taken a huge step forward in protecting this remarkable place forever."
"All of us at Moose Mountains Regional Greenways are proud to be part of this monumental land conservation project," said Cynthia Wyatt, chair of Moose Mountains Regional Greenways. "We are extremely thankful to Senator Gregg as well as the other NH Congressional delegates, and to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for implementing our vision to conserve one of southeastern New Hampshire's most special natural areas for future generations."
Founded in 1901, the Forest Society is a 10,000-member, nonprofit organization that has helped protect more than one million acres in New Hampshire. Visit www.forestsociety.org for more information, or call (603) 224-9945.
Moose Mountains Regional Greenways is a membership-driven land conservation organization working to conserve the most special natural areas of northern Strafford and southern Carroll counties."