Lamprey River Forest Conservation Initiative Completed
A Collaborative Effort Conserves 3,350 feet of River Frontage
CONCORD, N.H., Jan. 24, 2008 – A 73-acre parcel that includes more than 3,000 feet of frontage on the Lamprey River in Epping is now permanently conserved thanks to a collaboration of the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire, the Lamprey River Advisory Committee, the Town of Epping, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society). The Lamprey River from West Epping to Newmarket has been designated a national Wild & Scenic River, because of its historic, wildlife, and recreational values.
Once eyed as a possible site for residential development, in recent years the Lamprey River Advisory Committee (LRAC) has urged conserving this land and adding to the river's protection. The landowners, Winthrop Dow Jr., William Dow, and Martha Fehsenfeld, children of the late Winthrop Dow Sr., agreed to conserve the property at a bargain sale, selling it for approximately 10 percent less than its appraised value. As a result, the parcel is now owned by the Forest Society, with a conservation easement held by the Southeast Land Trust. The 73-acre Dow family parcel abuts and will be added to the Forest Society's existing 108-acre Lamprey River Forest Reservation.
"We hope that the recent Dow conservation easement will help raise awareness of the importance of land conservation among residents in the area," states Kevin Martin, of the LRAC.
The Southeast Land Trust has a unique partnership with LRAC on land conservation priorities along the Lamprey River and its tributaries. The Southeast Land Trust negotiated with the land owner and LRAC provided the majority of the funding to purchase the parcel from the Dow family. Additional funding came from the Town of Epping and public fundraising, spearheaded by the Forest Society.
"We're grateful that so many partners and donors made it possible to add this important parcel to our Lamprey River Forest Reservation," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. "Together, we have protected some of the most important river frontage in the state, crucial habitat for rare species, and recreational access for citizens to enjoy hiking, wildlife watching, and fishing."
"This conservation success protects the land against development, which is integral for maintaining scenic beauty, wildlife habitat and water quality," said Jerry Langdon, selectman with the Town of Epping.
The land features white pine, red and white oak, northern hardwoods, beech, and hickory. In addition, 3,350 feet of river frontage along the Lamprey River protects aquatic habitat for river otter, fish, freshwater mussels, and other wildlife.
"To conserve this land, a partnership between the local community and regional and state conservation organizations was the best approach," said Brian Hart, executive director of the Southeast Land Trust. "We were fortunate that we had a family who was ready to sell, a supportive Town, and two conservation partners'the Lamprey River Advisory Committee and Forest Society."
As it is, the land will be open for public use for local citizens to engage in numerous outdoor activities, including walking, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, or fishing, but not for motorized wheeled vehicles. The easement is a permanent legal agreement that is transferred to all future landowners. Under its terms, they may conduct forestry, agriculture, and enjoy non-commercial outdoor recreation. Other commercial and industrial uses, as well as the construction of residences, are prohibited.
About the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire
Formed by the merger of the Rockingham Land Trust and Seacoast Land Trust in the fall of 2006, the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire's mission is to conserve the significant land and natural resources of southeastern New Hampshire, including water, working farms and forests, wildlife habitat and natural areas, and community landscapes. As a regional land trust, the organization serves 39 communities of greater Rockingham County. The Southeast Land Trust has helped landowners and communities conserve nearly 5,300 acres of land through conservation easements and full-fee ownerships. For more information, contact us at 603/778-6088 or visit our website www.seltnh.org.
About the Lamprey River Advisory Committee
The Lamprey River Advisory Committee (LRAC) serves as advisory committee under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers program and under the State River's Management and Protection Program. The Committee consists of representatives from Epping, Lee, Durham and Newmarket. The principle responsibility of the LRAC has been the development and implementation of a long range River Management Plan. The ongoing work of the Committee focuses on activities which carry out parts of the Plan in conjunction with local towns, schools, residents and partnering conservation organizations.
About the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
Founded in 1901, the Forest Society is a 10,000-member, nonprofit organization that has helped protect more than one million acres in New Hampshire. Visit www.forestsociety.org for more information, or call (603) 224-9945.