Northwood Landowner Leads by Example
Carl Wallman recently donated his third conservation easement to the Forest Society, protecting an additional 40 acres of his picturesque Harmony Hill Farm in Northwood. In doing so, Carl has added to a protected block of 2,310 acres within the neighborhood of the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) that he founded five years ago.
Based on principles espoused by Aldo Leopold, NALMC promotes landowners working across boundary lines on community-based land conservation and stewardship projects. This gift follows two prior easements that Carl gave to the Forest Society protecting 164 abutting acres. The Northwood Conservation Commission holds an executory interest in the easement and assisted with some of the transactional expenses of the project
The land contains an attractive mix of managed hayland and forestland with productive soils, a forested wetland containing centuries-old black gum trees, and a brushy field that Carl burns every two years to maintain early successional conditions favored by many creatures, such as ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and New England Cottontail. Sitting atop a watershed divide, this land also helps protect the water quality of the Lamprey River to the east and the Suncook River to the west.
Carl’s land also includes about 2,000 feet of picturesque road frontage, in sharp contrast to a neighboring nine-lot subdivision now under construction on what had been productive cropland farmed for decades by a local family. Ironically, it was this development that catalyzed Carl to take action to conserve this land.
Carl allows hikers and snowmobilers to enjoy the trails that run through his land and connect with others in the NALMC neighborhood. He also makes it available for various community-oriented educational programs, such as a workshop run last year to build Leopold-designed benches with rough-sawn timber cut from Carl’s land.
From New York City, Carl arrived at this property 43 years ago with no farming background. Singlehandedly, and with great persistence, he learned what he needed to know and cleared the fields himself, in part driven by a desire to make peace with the reality that his Russian parents were prohibited from even owning land in their country of origin. Over the next 25 years, he developed a stocking and breeding operation for black angus cattle, winning national awards and putting surprised Westerners to shame. Upon discontinuing that business 18 years ago, Carl has since dedicated himself to restoring the ecological health of Harmony Hill Farm, increasing its habitat diversity, and fostering an ethic of land conservation and stewardship throughout the larger Northwood community.
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.