Q2C Partnership Awards Fall 2015 Land Grants

The Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership (Q2C) today announced the recipients of its eighth round of Land Conservation Grants, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect ecologically important forests in the highlands of western New Hampshire and north central Massachusetts. In the latest round, the Q2C Partnership awarded grants totaling $90,152 to seven projects that will conserve a total of approximately 4,442 acres of land. The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $11 million.

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. Sixty-two 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 “supporting landscapes” that buffer and connect the core focus areas. The funded projects are:

Gross Farm Conservation Restrictions, Petersham, MA
Sponsor: Town of Petersham
Acres Conserved: 229
Protection Method: conservation restriction
Q2C Grant Award: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $400,000

Silver Lake Eastside, Harrisville, NH
Sponsor: Harris Center
Acres Conserved: 194
Protection Method: conservation easement
Q2C Grant Award: $16,570
Total Project Costs: $2,037,043

Osgood and Hurd Hill, Nelson, NH
Sponsor: Harris Center
Acres Conserved: 578
Protection Method: conservation easement
Q2C Grant Award: $13,430
Total Project Costs: $802,856

Farnsworth Hill Forest-Colby Tract, Washington, NH
Sponsor: Society for the Protection of NH Forests
Acres Conserved: 50
Protection Method: fee purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $5,295
Total Project Costs: $54,722

Addition to Monadnock Reservation-Marlborough, NH
Sponsor: Society for the Protection of NH Forests
Acres Conserved: 49
Protection Method: fee purchase
Q2C Grant Award: $6,041
Total Project Costs: $160,147

WD Cowls Working Forest, Leverett and Shutesbury, MA
Sponsor: Kestrel Land Trust
Acres Conserved: 3,317
Protection Method: conservation restrictions
Q2C Grant Award: $30,000
Total Project Costs: $7,695,000

Allen project, Marlborough, NH
Sponsor: Monadnock Conservancy
Acres Conserved: 24
Protection Method: conservation restrictions
Q2C Grant Award: $8,816
Total Project Costs: $82,755

With this latest round of projects the Q2C grants program has funded 71 separate projects that have conserved almost 25,000 acres of land.

The Q2C grants program is privately funded and administered by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests on behalf of the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership. Non-profit land trusts, municipalities, and state agencies that have land conservation as a primary function are all eligible to apply for a Q2C land conservation grant.

Launched in 2003, the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership is a collaborative effort of more than twenty private organizations and public agencies working on land conservation in the Q2C landscape. Over the past ten years, the partners have worked with interested landowners to permanently protect an additional 90,000 acres of land in the region – 62,000 acres in New Hampshire and 28,000 acres in Massachusetts — an increase of almost 22% over 2002 levels.

For more information about the Q2C Partnership please contact Brian Hotz at (603) 224-9945 or bhotz@forestsociety.org. Information is also available at http://www.q2cpartnership.org

Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman, Ecophotography

Sunapee and Kearsarge trails challenge Manchester youth

SCA_Manchester_SRKG_2014_crewstairsThe day the crew finished their largest staircase, they felt so proud of the work that they accomplished.  Looking back at what had to be done on the first day, they all got a little glazed over in the eyes and could not grasp the scope of the project.  As they worked day after day on the project and got to see it come together, it was easy to sense the ownership they were taking over it.  Many of the crew members started to want everything done not only well, but well to the point where it would last forever.  They wanted their stone staircase to be a sort of legacy they left behind.  When they finally did finish the staircase and had the chance to take pictures with it, there was nothing but joy and pride to be seen on their faces.

In July 2014, two crews of 5-6 high school youth from Manchester, NH completed trail work projects on Mount Kearsarge and near Mount Sunapee. The students met a variety of challenges on the trail, but accomplished a great deal toward improving public trails. The two separate projects were completed with the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club and funded in part with Q2C Partnership.

Click below to read the full stories. Photos courtesy the SCA NH Corps.

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Project

Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Project

Mayor-Niles Forest provides unbroken link in valuable wildlife habitat

Set on Moose Mountain, the 92-acre property is the gift of Michael and Elizabeth Mayor and John Niles, who owned the land for 30 years.

The forested parcel cloaks the west slope of this iconic ridge just below the North Peak, connecting with National Park Service lands surrounding the Appalachian Trail.

This property provides an unbroken link in valuable wildlife habitat and expands the protected high elevation lands that are key to conferring resilience to climate change. These cooler forests will become an increasingly critical refuge for birds and other wildlife.

Click below to read the full story. Photo courtesy the Hanover Conservancy.

Mayor-Niles Forest Project

 

Manchester youth group help improve state trails

SCA_Manchester_Kearsarge_Crew_2013_rockworkShe has never camped out before, let alone wielded an ax to cut brush all day on a mountain slope, but for the past two weeks, Manchester high school student Saraswoti Dhimal has been on Mount Kearsarge improving the trail.

She is among a group of city youths helping the state with its backlog of deferred maintenance and giving a willing arm to volunteer members of a regional greenway to improve the popular 1.8 mile Barlow Trail.

Click below to read the full story. Photos courtesy SCA NH Corps.

Manchester youth group help improve state trails.

Quabbin to Cardigan Trail Grants Update

As of August 1, the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership has awarded five Q2C Trail Grants totaling just over $31,000 in its first round.

The projects awarded grants are:

Project: Building a Trailwork Community
Sponsor: Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition (SRK)…
Category: Trail Maintenance & Improvement; Volunteer capacity building
Award: $2,622
Miles of trail improved: 4 mi. +/-
Summary: Q2C is funding a series of outdoor workdays this summer and fall, aimed at attracting and training new volunteers to help maintain and improve the SRK Greenway, a 75-mile loop hiking trail in the Sunapee/Kearsarge area of NH.

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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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