Town of Lee Donates Conservation Easement on Maude Jones Memorial Forest
February 4, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jim Graham (603) 224-9945 or
Kelly Whalen (603) 431-0816
Maude Jones Memorial Forest protected for future generations
LEE – The Town of Lee has donated a conservation easement on its 75-acre Maude Jones Memorial Forest to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The town will continue to own the land, which stands as a permanent memorial to the woman who loved it dearly.
Maude Jones was born on a farm in Lee in 1874, and she grew up to cherish the sights, sounds and smells of the land. The farm was eventually sold, but Jones retained ownership of the 75-acre lower pasture. When Jones died, her daughter, Marion, inherited the land and turned it into a tree farm. In turn, it was passed on to her son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Imogene Kimball. The lower pasture had been under increasing development pressure when the Kimballs decided in 2001 to sell it to the Town of Lee, instead of a developer. The town bought the property with substantial assistance from the Forest Society.
“The property has exceptional conservation features,” said Paul Doscher, vice president for land conservation at the Forest Society.
The land is a well-managed woodlot, having been a tree farm prior to 2001. The town is currently pursuing recertification to continue tree farming on the property. Students from the University of New Hampshire’s Thompson School of Forestry have used the property as a demonstration site for various forest management techniques.
The property supports a healthy and robust habitat, with more than 142 species of vascular plants and 103 bird species identified by the town. Two streams, forming the headwaters of the Oyster River, also run through the property. The land’s unusual geologic features include a dry “kettle hole,” a bowl-shaped depression about 200 feet in diameter. An existing trail network also provides for recreational and educational uses.
“The conservation easement will guarantee future public access, as well as protect the local drinking water supplies,” Doscher added.
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a 10,000-member, nonprofit organization that has helped protect more than one million acres across New Hampshire. Visit www.forestsociety.org for more information, or call (603) 224-9945.