QUABBIN TO CARDIGAN PARTNERSHIP AWARDS FALL 2019 LAND GRANTS

In its thirteenth round of grant-making in the fall of 2019, the Q2C Land Conservation Grants Program awarded grants totaling $39,850 to five projects that will conserve a total of approximately 1,615 acres of land. 95 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 2019 (land and easement value plus transaction and other costs) is conservatively estimated at nearly $1.4 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:

Antrim Wind Related CEs, Antrim, NH

Applicant:  Harris Center for Conservation Education
Acres to be Conserved:  808
Protection Method:  Purchased Conservation Easements
Q2C Grant Award: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $105,466AWE topo
The Harris Center for Conservation Education is under contract to acquire conservation easements on 808 acres, from 5 landowners, in Antrim, NH, associated with the development of a wind farm. The operation of the commercial wind farm is structured as a reserved right that expires after 50 years from the start of the leases. The wind farm is required to be fully decommissioned when the reserved right expires. This acquisition adds to a contiguous block of 14,437 conserved acres—a large, unfragmented block of habitat that is 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 Antrim.

Tamburrini, Warwick, MA

Applicant:  Mass Audubon
Acres to be Conserved:  170
Protection Method:  Land Purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $7,350
Total Project Costs: $163,300

photo beaver pond

Mass Audubon is acquiring this 170-acre parcel of land on the Gales Brook corridor and will protect it from development with a deed restriction.  This parcel is made up of vacant forested land which abuts the 9,000+ acre Warwick State Forest and adds to the already protected landscape in Warwick held by the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and Mass Audubon. Public access to the parcel will be primarily through existing wood roads and it will connect to the Warwick State Forest, which is open for public recreation and has existing trails.

Sawtelle Addition, New Ipswich, NH

Applicant: Northeast Wilderness Trust
Acres to be Conserved: 47
Protection Method: Land Purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $5,000
Total Project Costs: $120,000

Sawtelle_Photo_3

Northeast Wilderness Trust has a signed Option agreement to purchase 47 acres in New Ipswich in fee. The property is strategically located between two parcels already conserved by Northeast Wilderness Trust and features wetland habitat and a ¼-mile stretch of the historic Wapack Trail. Purchase of this tract will also complete protection of the entire Binney Pond shoreline. Permanent protection of this land as forever wild will be ensured by recording a Declaration of Trust with the State of NH.

Moran & Barbagallo, Grafton, NH

Applicant: Society for the Protection of NH Forests
Acres to be Conserved: 226
Protection Method: Purchased Conservation Easements
Q2C Grant Award: $7,500
Total Project Costs: $640,500

Moran_fieldpond

Two landowners, with abutting properties totaling 226 acres, are planning to donate conservation easements to the Forest Society on their land. These two properties include strong habitat diversity, with woodlands, wetland, and mowed fields, with a future potential for agricultural use and forestry. Although the conservation easements will not guarantee public recreational access, these landowners permit public access and use of their lands for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hunting. There is potential for enlarging this conservation area and linking to other conserved lands in the vicinity.

Tunis District Conservation Project (GP Phase), NH

Applicant:  Upper Valley Land Trust
Acres to be Conserved:  352
Protection Method:  Land Donation
Q2C Grant Award: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $374,086

Tunis_Photo_TunisBrook

The Upper Valley Land Trust will provide permanent protection to a 352-acre forest block near the northwest shore of Goose Pond. The property includes wetlands, streams, and upland habitat, as well as 4.5 linear miles of perennial stream frontage. UVLT will own and manage the property for conservation and recreational purposes. Should the property ever be conveyed to another entity, it will be conveyed subject to a conservation easement to preserve its conservation values in perpetuity. This property contributes to linkages to multiple nearby parcels owned by the Town of Hanover and allows animal movement from the Appalachian Trail corridor to other conservation lands. Dispersed public access, including hunting and fishing, will be allowed, with eventual maintenance of old woods roads as trails for non-motorized recreation.

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