More than 400 Acres on Monadnock Protected
More than 1,000 Donors Help Forest Society Add Largest Amount of Protected Land to Monadnock Landscape in Nearly a Century
Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,000 contributors, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has conserved 418 acres along the slopes of Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey and Marlborough.
“We are so grateful to the many individuals, businesses, and organization that have helped us reach our goal,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “This is our largest addition of conserved lands on Mount Monadnock since our first purchase of 650 acres in 1915.”
With their forests and wetlands, the protected parcels enhance the varied wildlife habitat that the region is renowned for. These lands include several wetland complexes that provide important waterfowl nesting and feeding areas, as well as habitat for amphibians and reptiles. The waterways also serve as key travel corridors for mammals and birds.
The recently conserved land also includes footpaths, trails, and Class 6 roads that are heavily used as hiking trails, including part of a cross country ski trail that begins at the state park headquarters.
“The mountain isn’t exactly as it was when Henry David Thoreau hiked it more than 150 years ago, but he would certainly recognize much of the mountain and its trails today,” said Monadnock State Park Manager Patrick Hummel. “I think he would be very pleased with the protection and preservation efforts that keep Monadnock intact.”
The Forest Society owns more than half of the mountain’s 6,900 conserved acres and holds conservation easements on more than 1,000 additional adjacent acres. The organization leases approximately 1,000 acres to the State of New Hampshire to be operated as Mount Monadnock State Park.
The organization’s campaign was buoyed by generous donations from private foundations, state grants, and the Town of Marlborough. Thanks to the advocacy of Eastern Mountain Sports and JetBoil, the Conservation Alliance kicked off the campaign with a $25,000 donation. The NH Land and Community Heritage Program (LCHIP) contributed $125,000 toward the purchase of the Stowell tracts; the State Conservation Moose Plate Grant program contributed $30,000; the Town of Marlborough donated $25,000; and an anonymous donor contributed $50,000.
“Thanks to the generosity of these contributors and many others, the Forest Society was able to conserve land with tremendous natural and recreational significance,” said Difley. “Now we’ll be able to ensure that important sections of active hiking trails remain open to the public, and that visitors to the region can continue to enjoy views of the undeveloped mountain.”
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.