August 6, 2008

5 Questions About 2,121 Preserved Acres


The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is preserving 2,121 acres along the upper reaches of the Connecticut River, in the Clarksville, Pittsburg and Connecticut Lakes region north of Colebrook. Jack Savage, who directs outreach at the Forest Society, explained:

What is the preserved land like? With a parcel that large, it includes some pretty diverse habitat, including riparian habitat, which basically means forest along a river. It also includes some open fields, old farm sites that are open, and some sugar maple stands, as well as spruce-fir forest cover.

Why is it particularly important to preserve land like this? In order to protect water quality throughout the watershed, protecting land along the upper reaches of a river like the Connecticut is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep the water downstream clean.

This particular land also has any number of recreational attributes, from Trail 128 - a key snowmobile corridor connecting Colebrook to Pittsburg - to some fly-fishing that is known nationwide.

How can this land be used by the public? People can hunt and fish and hike. There are 17 miles of woods roads for walking, and the snowmobile trails follow a portion of those roads.

How was this land preserved? We were able to protect this land by buying it, thanks to grants and donations totaling $2.8 million. . . . We received nearly 800 individual donations toward this campaign. . . . Among those 800, we received nearly 250 donations from snowmobilers and almost 150 donations from members of Trout Unlimited.

How can members of the public get to know the property? On Saturday, Oct. 18, we will be leading a field trip on the property that's open to anyone.

Originally published by ETHAN WILENSKY-LANFORD Monitor staff.

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