Land Conservation Projects in Bethlehem, Boscawen, and Lee Will Protect Water, Woods, and Farms

December 4, 2019

Morrill Dairy Farm in Boscawen

CONCORD, N.H. (Dec. 4, 2019)--The Board of Directors of the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) has announced $3.5 million dollars in matching grants awarded to thirty-three projects across the state, including the Society for the Protection of NH Forests’ (Forest Society) Ammonoosuc River Project in Bethlehem, Tuckaway Farm in Lee, and Morrill Dairy Farm in Boscawen. 

The Forest Society is a private, non-profit land trust and forestry organization established in 1901. The organization has received a $300,000 grant for its Ammonoosuc River Project, which will conserve an exceptional 1.8-mile stretch of the Ammonoosuc River in Bethlehem. The Ammonoosuc is one of the largest rivers in the northern White Mountains, originating in the Lakes of the Clouds on Mt. Washington’s western slope and flowing westward to the Connecticut River in Woodsville. With scenic vistas and key coldwater fisheries in its upper reaches, the Ammonoosuc still harbors wild brook trout as well as rainbows and browns. To permanently protect important trout habitat and enhance angler access, the Forest Society will acquire 257 acres that include frontage on the main stem of the Ammonoosuc River and seven feeder streams. Please join us in making this conservation vision a reality.

Tuckaway Farm in Lee is receiving $73,000 to conserve a 36-acre property adjacent to a farm owned by Dorn and Sarah Cox and Chuck and Laurel Cox. The 200-plus acre Tuckaway Farm is under an existing conservation easement held by the Town of Lee. The Cox family has farmed the 36 acres of land for nearly 50 years and it’s an important component to their operations, so much so that they bought the land and the abutting house when it went on the market in 2018. The old historic home on the property, which will be excluded from the proposed easement, will become a farming education center. Please join us in making this conservation vision a reality.

Lastly, $85,000 was granted to help conserve land owned by the Morrill Dairy Farm in Boscawen. The Forest Society is working together with the Town of Boscawen to purchase a conservation easement on 115 acres of high-quality agricultural land on Long and Water Streets in Boscawen from the Morrill family. The Morrill Dairy Farm has been in operation for nearly a century and is now owned by Rob and Sherri Morrill and their sons, Andy, Kevin, and Ryan, and daughter Kim. Currently, the Morrill's are milking 140 cows and have a total of just over 500 cows on the farm. Please join us in making this conservation vision a reality.

“We’re pleased that LCHIP recognized the extraordinary value in conserving these three projects—two farms and a forested river,” said Jack Savage, president of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests.  “It’s important to remember, too, that these projects are made possible by our partners and landowners who also understand the value of land conservation. Across the state, the LCHIP grants are helping protect remarkable assets that define our state. We’re pleased to be part of that.”

Projects are being supported in each of the state’s ten counties. This grant round was highly competitive, with over $7 million in funding requests compared to $3.5 million available for grants. LCHIP Board Chair Amanda Merrill of Durham observed “The LCHIP Board of Directors was particularly impressed with the variety and quality of projects seeking support this year.”

Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP.  This year’s awards of $3.5 million will be matched by more than $10 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of almost $14 million into the state’s economy in direct project activity. 

About New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority created by the legislature in 2000 with a legislative mandate is to ensure the perpetual contribution of natural, cultural and historic resources to the economy, environment, and quality of life in New Hampshire. LCHIP provides matching grants to New Hampshire communities and non-profits to conserve and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural and historic resources. Prior to the grant awards described herein, the program has provided 466 grants which have helped to conserve more than 290,000 acres of land for food production, water quality, ecological values, timber management and recreation and supported 280 projects to rehabilitate historic structures and sites. Grants have been awarded in all parts of the state and in 167 of New Hampshire’s 234 communities. Forty-six million dollars of state money has led to a total project value of more than $317 million. The money for LCHIP grants comes from fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state.