Anonymous donor, one loud statement

As they stare at the reality of smaller government, organizations dependent on state and federal support are scrambling to extend critical work as funding dries up. One such program is the Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative, which for the past three years has used federal funds to jump-start land conservation on a 100-mile stretch from the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts to the Mount Cardigan area in the southern tip of the White Mountains National Forest. This two million-acre stretch of ecologically significant forestland cuts right through the heart of the Monadnock region.

Photo courtesy the Forest Society.

Northfield land protected on national scenic trail

The room was all smiles as longstanding efforts to protect 188 acres around the Northfield route of the New England National Scenic Trail were formally completed at the Franklin County Registry of Deeds. Signing for the town, Selectwoman Bonnie L’Etoile described the day as “a perfect example of how team work with a common goal can reach results that we can all be proud of. This is a successful culmination of years of work to protect lands in Northfield for the future of our town.”

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Sixty-nine Acres on Valley Road in Andover Conserved

In November, 2010, as we were well along the process of putting our land into conservation, we sat on our back porch looking toward Sucker Brook, which runs from Highland Lake in Andover to Webster Lake in Franklin, and watched a small white ermine cavorting across the stream. His bright white coat showed up beautifully against the November russets and browns, but he would be invisible after snowfall. As we watched we both said, “That wee beastie is why we are putting this land into conservation!”

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Sixty-nine Acres on Valley Road in Andover Conserved

Wildlife Habitat and Open Space Conserved in Hanover

When Ann and Harte Crow purchased their land in northeast Hanover over thirty years ago, they thought of naming the place “Pressey Brook Farm.” But says Harte Crow, “that seemed awfully pretentious,” for the landscape they had come to know. Instead, their family affectionately refers to the land as “The Dismal,” in honor of The Great Dismal Swamp in the southeastern U.S. The land is wet and portions are often flooded due to a hearty population of beavers that is active near the confluence of several brooks. These brooks, Pressey and Tunis, join on the property to create a large wetland complex. Pressey flows from a height of land near the Lyme/Hanover border and Tunis comes off of Moose Mountain; together these brooks serve as a watershed for Goose Pond and the Mascoma River.

The Crows recently donated a conservation easement on their 239-acre property to the Upper Valley Land Trust. This agreement will ensure the permanent protection of this land.

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Wildlife Habitat and Open Space Conserved in Hanover

Community Marks Ten Years on the Tully Trail

Conservation partners ranging from state agencies to community based land trusts and trail volunteers met today in the Tully Mountain Wildlife Management Area to celebrate the tenth summer of the Tully Trail, a 22-mile loop which links together many of the area’s prominent natural landmarks.  “The tenth anniversary reminds us what the cooperation of local, state, and federal government can achieve when working together with private citizens and a fantastic land trust,” said Bob Durand, who was Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs during the Tully Initiative, “the land protection work inspired by this trail continues to support the working forests and rich biodiversity that exist in the Tully Valley today.”

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Celebrating Ten Years on the Tully Trail [Link is no longer active.]