Conservation groups recently announced that 24,000 acres of forest have been preserved in New Hampshire.
The land, secured by the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands and the Conservation Fund as part of a multi-year effort, is located near the Appalachian Trail in the Mahoosuc Mountains between Berlin, New Hampshire and the Maine border. The groups say the land will be responsibly harvested for timber as well as be used for recreation such as hiking, fishing and hunting.
The newly-protected forest provides critical water supply, aquatic habitat and watershed protection that features 35 square miles of the Androscoggin River watershed, 78 miles of perennial streams, 467 acres of ponds and lakes, and 1,200 acres of wetlands and important wildlife habitat.
“Conserving these important properties, rich in natural resources, is one of the most important things we can do for future generations, not just for plants and wildlife, but also for people,” said Brad Simpkins, director of the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands.
This historic effort is central to a mosaic of public lands spanning the New Hampshire-Maine border and is a key component of a bi-state economic and conservation initiative to sustain the forest industry and to develop world class outdoor recreation in the Mahoosuc Region, including hunting, fishing, hiking and motorized recreation. The forestlands also provide critical habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species, including the federally threatened Canada lynx and the state-threatened American marten, common loon and bald eagle.
“The fabric of community in New Hampshire’s North Country is defined by the bond of the people to working forests, wild lands, wildlife, recreation and livelihoods in this region,” said Nancy Bell, Vermont and New Hampshire director for The Conservation Fund. “This is evident with the unflagging and diverse support for this project from the N.H. Fish and Game Department, Coos County Commissioners, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the City of Berlin, the Androscoggin Valley Fish and Game Association, snowmobiles clubs and others taking a stand to keep their landscape, communities and values intact to create a future of their own invention!”
More than $4.64 million in federal funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) through the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, together with donations from the landowner and The Conservation Fund, and with support from C&S Wholesale Grocers and U-Haul made this landscape-scale conservation success possible.
A bipartisan, federal program more than 50 years, LWCF uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties—not taxpayer dollars—to acquire critical lands and protect our country’s best natural resources and recreational access. Both the LWCF and the Forest Legacy Program are annually funded by the U.S. Congress.
The LWCF will expire on September 30 unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.