Forest Society Expands Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton & Brookfield
MIDDLETON and BROOKFIELD, N.H. (May 14, 2021) — The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is pleased to announce an expansion of its Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton and Brookfield. Located between the Lakes Region and the Seacoast, the Forest Society's Moose Mountains Reservation is part of one of the largest blocks of forestland in the central part of the state. The addition to the reservation includes two outright purchases of land adding 171 acres to the already 2,575-acre reservation.
The Forest Society worked with two families to acquire lands at each end of the Moose Mountains Reservation. On the southwesterly side of the reservation, the Forest Society worked with the Harvey family to acquire 71 acres of land in Middleton. The property contains managed forestland, wetlands maintained by beavers, and about 3,000 feet of frontage along both sides of Jones Brook, which is a tributary of the Branch River and eventually flows into the Salmon Falls River.
On the north side of the reservation in Brookfield, the property conveyed by brothers Dan and Glenn Nason protects 100 acres on the eastern flank of Moose Mountain. This higher elevation area includes one of the rarest types of natural communities found in the state, “Pitch pine rocky ridge,” as well as a significant stretch of the Moose Mountain Trail and two other unnamed recreational trails.
“I am pleased that our property is going to the Forest Society as conservation land,” states Dan Nason. “My folks would be very happy about this, too. We were raised to enjoy the outdoors and as a family we practiced carry-in/carry-out decades before it became popular. Conservation is extremely important to us. The property is very special; it gave me the opportunity to spend lots of time with my father, my wife, my brother, and sister-in-law on the mountain. As most people in the area know, the blueberries on the mountain are plentiful and juicy. It is nice to know other people will be able to enjoy the land in the future, too.”
“Together, these two parcels add important resources to the Moose Mountains Reservation,” states Jack Savage, president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “The reservation is part of an exceptionally large block of conserved forestland in the region. It’s also a wildlife haven, protects a clean flowing river, and is easily accessible for people to enjoy.”
These projects were undertaken in coordination with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG), and advance objectives articulated in their Conservation Action Plan, Our Home, Our Land, Our Tomorrow.
“MMRG is thrilled to have helped initiate the work on these important expansions to the Moose Mountains Reservation which the Forest Society ultimately brought to fruition,” states Jillian Eldridge, executive director of the Moose Mountains Regional Greenways. “The team-based, collaborative approach to conservation between MMRG and the Forest Society is a source of joy and pride for the region and an ultimate boon for conservation efforts.”
Together with adjacent lands that include the Ellis R. Hatch, Jr. (Jones Brook) Wildlife Management Area (1,920 acres owned by NH Fish and Game), the Copple Crown Forest (732 acres conserved by Lakes Region Conservation Trust), and the Middleton Town Forest, and within a few miles of the Birch Ridge Community Forest bordering Merrymeeting Lake in New Durham (2,015 acres owned by Southeast Land Trust of NH), the Moose Mountains Reservation is an important component in a landscape of more than 7,000 acres of nearly contiguous conserved forestland, much of it sustainably managed for forest products as well as wildlife, watershed protection, and recreation. This area is significant because the streams that feed Jones Brook, Horn Brook, and the Branch River flow down from the mountains to form the headwaters of the Salmon Falls River and the Piscataqua Watershed that in turn support coastal water supplies and water quality.
A NH Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) grant for $38,500, $15,000 from the NH State Conservation Committee Moose Plate Grant Program (Moose Plate), $15,000 from the William P. Wharton Trust, and other private donations helped protect and purchase the 71-acre Harvey family property.
A second LCHIP grant for $30,000, $15,000 from Moose Plate, $10,000 from the Adelard A. and Valeda Lea Roy Foundation, and $8,745 from the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, along with private donations went toward the purchase of the 100-acre Nason family property. Nearly 50 private individuals donated to the protection of these two additions.
“It’s about ensuring a quality of life for those of us who love New Hampshire, and we’re proud to help make it possible,” Savage adds. “We’re also grateful to LCHIP and all those who supported the projects to help us add to our Moose Mountains Reservation.”
ABOUT THE FOREST SOCIETY
The Forest Society is a private, non-profit land trust and forestry organization established in 1901. It currently holds more than 750 conservation easements statewide permanently protecting more than 135,000 acres of New Hampshire’s landscapes. The Forest Society also owns 190 forest reservations constituting more than 57,000 acres in 105 New Hampshire communities.