Q2C PARTNERSHIP AWARDS FALL 2018 LAND GRANTS

In its twelfth round of grant-making in the fall of 2018, the Q2C Land Conservation Grants Program awarded grants totaling $45,000 to six projects that will conserve a total of approximately 2,498 acres of land. 91 percent of the acres protected are located within areas identified as conservation priorities in the Q2C land conservation plan – falling within either “conservation focus areas” ranked as the most ecologically critical lands in the region, or “supporting landscapes” that buffer and connect the core focus areas. The total value of the projects funded in 2018 (land and easement value plus transaction and other costs) is conservatively estimated at nearly $2 million.  The projects are briefly summarized below.

The two-state Quabbin-to-Cardigan region spans one hundred miles from the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts northward along the western spine of New Hampshire to the boundary of the White Mountain National Forest. Encompassing approximately two million acres, the region is one of the largest remaining areas of intact forest in central New England and is a key headwater of both the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers.

The Q2C conservation grants are guided by a strategic plan that prioritizes the region’s most ecologically significant forests and key connections between them for wildlife passage and human recreation. All projects are on a strictly voluntary, willing-seller/donor basis. 90% percent of the acres protected in the latest grant round are located within areas identified as conservation priorities in the Q2C land conservation plan – falling within either “conservation focus areas” ranked as the most ecologically critical lands in the region or a “Connectivity Corridor” that connects the core focus areas. The funded projects are:

Britton Forest,Hanover, NH

Applicant: Hanover Conservancy
Acres to be Conserved: 79
Protection Method: Land Donation
Q2C Grant Award: $4,227
Total Project Costs: $79,749

bear claw marks heidi

The Hanover Conservancy proposes to acquire the 79-acre property owned by Britton Timberlands on the northwest slope of Moose Mountain, entirely in the Q2C Core Focus Area. The property is bounded on three sides by permanently protected and/or public land: the federally owned Appalachian Trail corridor, the Conservancy’s own Mayor-Niles Forest, and the Plummer Hill Tract, owned by the Town of Hanover. The owner plans to donate the land to the Conservancy before the end of 2018. The landowner is keenly interested in inviting the public onto the land for recreation on foot trails. The Class VI Plummer Hill Road provides guaranteed public access to this property, and there is a small parking area at the beginning of this old road that also functions as the trailhead parking for the abutting Mayor-Niles Forest. We expect that people will be drawn to both.

Snowfairy Preserve, Bradford & Hillsborough, NH

Applicant: Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust
Acres to be Conserved: 1,221
Protection Method: Donated Conservation Easement
Q2C Grant Award: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $543,030

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This project includes the donation of a perpetual conservation easement on approximately 1,221 acres of forest and wetlands in Bradford and Hillsborough. This property is near or adjacent to more than 3,500 acres of conserved land and connects or is near to several other conserved properties, including the Aiken Pasture Town Forest in Bradford and the NH DRED’s Low State Forest. Due to past logging operations, there is a network of roads, woods roads, and bridges that run throughout the property, which would facilitate public access.  The landowner would allow for low impact, pedestrian public access on the property but would like to retain the right to post the property against hunting, camping, and wheeled or motorized vehicles.

Birch Conservation Easement, Dublin, NH

Applicant: Monadnock Conservancy
Acres to be Conserved: 364
Protection Method: Donated Conservation Easement
Q2C Grant Award: $8,541
Total Project Costs: $298,174

view of monadnock from birch meadow

David & Louisa Birch are donating a permanent conservation easement on 364 acres of land in Dublin, NH. The land is forested with expansive wetlands and also contains an 8-acre meadow that they mow once a year. Located at the foot of Mt. Monadnock, it is adjacent to a large block (36,300 acres) of already protected land. Roughly 3,000 feet of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail crosses through it. This property was also identified within a priority area for protection by the Town’s 2008 Open Space Plan. The easement will guarantee public access on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail.

Granite Lake Headwaters, Stoddard, NH

Applicant: Harris Center for Conservation Education
Acres to be Conserved: 515
Protection Method: Land Purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $610,775

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The Harris Center for Conservation Education (“HCCE”) intends to purchase the fee interest in the 515-acre property in Stoddard, NH, known as the Granite Lake Headwaters to provide permanent protection and stewardship. This parcel features mostly upland forest dissected by three miles of first-order streams in two watersheds. Conservation of this relatively high elevation parcel is critical to protecting water quality in Nye Meadow and Granite Lake. This acquisition adds to 2,275 acres of directly contiguous land conserved by the Harris Center and is adjacent to an 11,500-acre conservation corridor stretching from Stoddard to Peterborough, providing a large, unfragmented block of habitat, critical to many species. The conservation of this property provides substantial linkage to and enhances the size and ecological function of previously protected lands in Stoddard. HCCE intends to leave the property open to low-impact outdoor recreational activities, but will not allow ATV’s, snowmobiles, or trapping.

Feltman, Wendell, MA

Applicant: Massachusetts Audubon
Acres to be Conserved: 118
Protection Method: Land Purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $4,566
Total Project Costs: $250,000

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This is a full purchase of the fee interest in 118 acres in Wendell. These acres are adjacent to the Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary and, once acquired, will be added to that Sanctuary. The 2,000+/- acres in the Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary are permanently protected conservation lands maintained as a forever wild natural area. The Wildlife Sanctuary is connected to the 7,500-acre Wendell State Forest and is within a mile of the Quabbin Reservoir watershed lands to the east. Public access on the project parcel will be limited. Most of the WWWS is restricted access “forever wild natural areas” to minimize human impact. The original donors of much of the land for WWWS sought to create a wildlife sanctuary for the flora and fauna that inhabit the area, and therefore limited public access to the area to specific times and places.

Tunis District Conservation Project (ATC Phase), Hanover, NH

Applicant: Upper Valley Land Trust
Acres to be Conserved: 201
Protection Method: Land Purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $7,667
Total Project Costs: $160,000

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The Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) has an opportunity to protect over 500 acres of headwater wetlands, streams, and upland forest located immediately east of Moose Mountain in Hanover. This grant will be used specifically to support the purchase of the eastern-most 201± acre block, made up by four parcels, that directly abuts the United States National Park Service’s land for the Appalachian Trail Corridor (ATC). The majority (~90%) of this land was ranked as “Highest Ranking Habitat” in the 2015 New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan (WAP). The remainder of the land was either ranked as “highest ranked habitat in the region” (~9%) or “supporting landscape” (~1%). UVLT ownership will ensure that property remains undeveloped with its natural resources preserved while allowing the public to enjoy and explore it in an ecologically safe and responsible manner.

For more information about the Q2C Partnership please contact Brian Hotz at (603) 224-9945 or bhotz@forestsociety.org.

 

 

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