This March, Plaistow voters will vote on a warrant article that, if successful, will be one of the last steps in the process of permanently conserving the 404 acre Plaistow Town Forest. This initiative began years ago with the Plaistow Conservation Commission and was helped to become a reality with the work of the Plaistow First Committee in 2011. The project is being coordinated by the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire.
The Plaistow Town Forest is located in the far northwest corner of the town along the boundary lines of Atkinson to the west and Hampstead to the north. This corner of Plaistow was historically referred to as Frog Pond Woods. The area was never serviced by a major road due to difficult terrain, poor soils and considerable wetlands along the Kelley Brook drainage. Hence the land was divided by early settlers into small woodlots and meadow tracts to service local famers. Eventually these small inaccessible parcels lost their value to landowners or were forgotten by distant heirs. By the mid-1970’s, Plaistow had acquired by tax collector’s deeds for unpaid taxes a total of 21 parcels that encompass approximately 325 acres which later became the core of the Plaistow Town Forest.Read more: Important March Vote for the Plaistow Town Forest
The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire is pleased to announce that the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, known as LCHIP, unveiled the grant recipients for its 2013 grant round on Monday, January 6th 2014 and the Southeast Land Trust’s “Pawtuckaway to Great Bay” Project was awarded $400,000, the largest grant awarded in this grant round! With 75 applications requesting more than $7.0 million in funds this was a very competitive grant round for LCHIP.
The vision for linking and creating a connected corridor of conservation land from Pawtuckaway State Park to the Great Bay estuary was proposed by Southeast Land Trust’s Executive Director, Brian Hart, about seven years ago when he was studying maps of the region. Hart realized that all of the conservation work being done by the Southeast Land Trust, its conservation partners and the local towns was starting to make connections like a jigsaw puzzle coming together. “I could see that if we proactively worked with a number of willing landowners, we could make a ribbon of conserved land that would benefit wildlife and people,” said Hart. The landscape between Pawtuckaway and the Bay is still very much traditional New England, with a patchwork of farms interspersed amongst forests, wetlands, rivers and streams. Conserving this landscape benefits people by providing locally produced agricultural and forest products, opportunities for outdoor education and recreation, and natural land cover that protects drinking water supplies. Wildlife benefit by having large blocks of conserved forests that are connected, allowing them to move between for food, cover, and breeding ground.Read more: LCHIP Provides Support Connecting Pawtuckaway to Great Bay
Tucked in the northwest corner of Kingston is the 40 acre Rockrimmon State Forest, one of the smaller state forests in New Hampshire. From about 1928 to 1982 the State Forest, which includes the peak of the 308 foot tall Rockrimmon Hill, had an active fire tower. Now all that remains are some abutments, metal flanges, and a remarkable view. Surrounding Rockrimmon State Forest is a contiguous block of undeveloped forest in Kingston and Danville that is habitat for several rare species, the site of numerous vernal pools, and wetlands that provide valuable waterfowl habitat.
The Southeast Land Trust has partnered with the Town of Kingston on creating a nearly 170 acre town owned forest that will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come. After overwhelming support at the 2013 Town Meeting, where the Kingston voters agreed to spend up to $424,000 on the Rockrimmon Project, the Land Trust secured contracts on 5 tracts totaling 181 acres. One of the landowners generously agreed to donate their property and another agreed to sell at less than its fair market value. Thanks to the support of the Town of Kingston, the generosity of the landowners, and funding from a variety of sources including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Project, and mitigation funds approve by the NHDES, the bulk of the tracts will be conserved in October with a conservation easement from the Town of Kingston to the Land Trust to be conveyed by the end of the year.
Look for an upcoming opportunity to rock around with us at Rockrimmon and explore the great habitats and views on from Rockrimmon State Forest.
The Southeast Land Trust is partnering with the Town of Exeter’s Conservation Commission to conserve the 34-acre Elliott parcel as an addition to the Oaklands Town Forest. The “Growing Oaklands – Our Forest Our Trails” initiative needs to raise the final $37,000 by the middle of March to complete the acquisition. You can help by making a donation today!
Read more: Growing Oaklands
Fundraising goal for Governor Dale Farm met! Thank you!
In the summer of 2012, the Governor Dale Farm was slated for a 50-lot subdivision, raising significant concerns by abutters, residents, and Town officials. Would this beautiful piece of North Hampton’s history be carved up into a checkerboard of ½ acre lots?
In the early fall of that year, in hopes of saving this treasured landscape, Town officials quietly contacted the Southeast Land Trust and asked: could we begin negotiations in an attempt to preserve the farm? The Town had twice before attempted to conserve this land, but those efforts failed to produce a conservation outcome, and after being sold to a regional developer, the property was now before the planning board for a subdivision that was on the fast track to completion.
Now, thanks to the efforts of North Hampton residents, all of the necessary funds to conserve the Governor Dale Farm has been raised!
|Download the 1955 article on the farm: NH Profiles Magazine - 1955 (7.02 MB)
|Read the Kendall Chevalier interview|
|Wed Mar 26 @ 7:00PM|
Wildlife Seminar: New Hampshire's Bobcats with John Litvaitis
|Fri Mar 28 @ 6:00PM|
Seacoast Farmland Access Information Night and Farmer Mixer
|Sat Apr 19 @10:00AM|
Vernal Pool Walk: Frogs, Salamanders and Shrimp, Oh My!
|Fri Apr 25 @ 7:00PM|
4th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival
|Sat May 10 @ 6:00AM|
6th Annual Birding Walk at the Piscassic Greenway