Easement Excursions Launched!
The Forest Society is pleased to launch our first series of “Easement Excursions” this summer to celebrate and explore conservation easement properties we have protected. These tours will allow landowners to highlight stewardship activities from farming to forestry to wildlife habitat enhancement, and also talk about the importance of conservation in their long term plans for their lands. “Guided hikes and events on the Forest Society’s 185 fee-owned Forest Reservations are quite common, but these Easement Excursions are a special opportunity” explains Reagan Bissonnette, Director of Easement Stewardship. Because these are privately owned lands, many of them are places the public rarely get to explore in depth. With more than 700 conservation easements across the state, the Forest Society has protected almost three times as much land acreage in easements as in fee-owned properties. “The impact of these conservation easements in aggregate is enormous, and we feel it’s important to champion our easements and introduce them to others,” says Bissonnette.
The four excursions planned for Summer 2017 explore a variety of different easement properties including working forests, farms and wetlands. The first tour, held in June, explored an active heron rookery in Hopkinton on a property that is actively and sustainably managed for timber. Participants learned how the landowner takes careful steps to protect the rookery in managing its forestry operations, and got to enjoy a wood duck family, frogs, and dragonflies galore in addition to the herons. The next two excursions will tour the beautiful woods, ponds and bogs of the Lee Town Forest on Saturday August 5th, and scenic Brookford Farm in Canterbury which produces organic vegetables, dairy products, eggs and meat on Saturday August 26th. The final excursion will be a late summer hike in the lakes region, reaching beautiful vistas over Lake Winona on the Homestead Forest in Ashland on Saturday September 30th. The 2017 Easement Excursions tour series is made possible by generous funding from the NH Charitable Foundation. If you are interested in signing up for any of the easement tours in August or September, please visit the events page of the Forest Society’s website here.