Protecting a Family Farm in Lee
The Forest Society is working together with Dorn and Sarah Cox of Tuckaway Farm and their parents, Chuck and Laurel Cox, to buy a conservation easement on a 36-acre property adjacent to the farm that the family purchased earlier this spring. Nestled in the northeast corner of Lee, N.H., the 200-plus acre Tuckaway Farm is subject to an existing conservation easement held by the Town of Lee and is located directly across the Oyster River from the Forest Society’s 192-acre Powder Major’s Forest. The three generation family farm is “tucked away” along the river and is located just 2 miles from Durham center and the University of New Hampshire. The Cox family has farmed the newly acquired 36 acres of land for nearly 50 years and it’s an important component to their operations, so much so that they bought the land and the abutting house when it went on the market last winter. The old historic home on the property, which will be excluded from the proposed easement, will become a farming education center.
The property itself is valuable farmland with excellent agricultural soils. Its wildlife habitat value is enhanced by the fact that it has over 4,000 feet of frontage on the Oyster River, which is a drinking water source for the city of Durham and the University of New Hampshire. The river corridor provides critical and diverse habitat for many freshwater and anadromous fish species that depend on the habitat connectivity provided by the river and undeveloped surrounding areas.
The Forest Society is looking to raise $292,000 dollars to purchase the easement and cover the project and stewardship expenses. To date we have raised $190,575, the NRCS Agricultural Easement Program awarded a $107,500 grant, Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership granted $10,075, and LCHIP $73,000. We still need to raise the remaining $100,792. Your contribution will help us to protect this critical link of farmland in southeast New Hampshire.