Appalachian National Scenic Trail Gains Further Protection In New Hampshire

November 18, 2010

Mahoosuc Trail

Mahoosuc Trail. Photo by Bill Duffy.

Berlin, N.H. — The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service have protected 4,777 acres of northern New Hampshire forestland directly surrounding the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, linking other conserved lands and ensuring continued public access through historic side trails.

Thanks to a coalition of local leaders, state agencies, businesses and communities, 4,777 acres in Success Township will be added to the Mahoosuc Mountain Range section of the Appalachian Trail, and another 1,200 acres of bordering forestland in Shelburne will be conserved as working forest under a conservation easement. The larger property will be managed by the White Mountain National Forest, maintaining public access, including traditional uses of hunting and fishing.

This acquisition from T.R. Dillon Logging Company is the first of a three-phase agreement to conserve more than 29,000 contiguous acres in Success Township. The comprehensive goal of this multi-year effort is to protect important natural resources while ensuring working forests and sustainable economic opportunities for communities in the Berlin-Gorham area, Coos County and the White Mountain region.

The New Hampshire congressional delegation—championed by Senator Judd Gregg, and supported by Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Paul Hodes—were key to the project’s completion, having secured $2.75 million in federal funding for the purchase from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“New Hampshire’s beautiful landscapes and natural resources are one of the main reasons that our state remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Sen. Gregg. “It is our responsibility to protect these unique areas so that future generations can appreciate them just as we have. We are fortunate that residents of the North Country recognize this responsibility and have been leading efforts to protect the places that define New Hampshire’s rich heritage, like the Mahoosuc Mountain Range. I want to thank The Conservation Fund and local leaders like Bing Judd and Steve Griffin, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protect our state’s environmental treasures.”

“New Hampshire’s forests are essential to our state’s tourism and timber industry, and it is critical that we preserve these resources for the benefit of future generations,” said Sen. Shaheen. “The completion of the first phase of the Mahoosuc Gateway conservation project is great news for New Hampshire recreationists, sportsmen and women, and small business owners, and I congratulate The Conservation Fund and its partners on this important accomplishment.”

Pamela Underhill, superintendent of the National Appalachian Scenic Trail said: “The famed Appalachian Trail, extending along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia, offers a unique opportunity for landscape-scale conservation in the heavily populated eastern United States. This community-led collaborative conservation project epitomizes the goals of the America’s Great Outdoors initiative being promoted by President Obama and Secretary Salazar. It has been a pleasure for the National Park Service to work with The Conservation Fund to achieve this success.”

North Bald Cap Mountain from the Mahoosuc TrailAmong the most picturesque and rugged sections of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Mahoosuc Mountain Range provides a scenic gateway between New Hampshire and Maine. Leading hikers across high elevations to a section of the Appalachian Trail know as the “toughest mile,” the famed corridor is now protected for six miles along the crest of Mahoosucs.

Also protected in this acquisition are two prominent peaks, Bald Cap and North Bald Cap, and the famous Outlook, known for its stunning views.

“The upper elevation areas are protected in perpetuity for generations to enjoy the great outdoors,” said Paul Grenier, Mayor of the city of Berlin, N.H. “Now onto the the most important part—the historical legacy of Success being a working forest. We need to conserve the larger acreage to continue to fuel the economy of Coos County.”

Steven D. Griffin, senior vice president of Isaacson Structural Steel said: “We are excited about this! As the City of Berlin is redefining itself as a destination for cultural and recreational tourism, protection of this land is an integral part of achieving this.”

Bruce Clendenning, coordinator of the Mahoosuc Initiative noted, a regional coalition of organizations and business leaders working together for the integrity of economy and landscape in the region, noted: “The Mahoosuc Initiative is extremely happy that work is completed on the first phase of the Mahoosuc Gateway conservation project in Success, N.H. Expanding the corridor around the Appalachian Trail above Berlin in the Mahoosuc Mountains will ensure that residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to enjoy one of northern New Hampshire’s most spectacular recreation experiences. The hard work that The Conservation Fund did with local leaders, Sen. Gregg and the rest of the congressional delegation is paying off with a great success for New Hampshire. Projects like this show exactly why the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provided the money for this purchase, is such an important program and should enjoy dedicated funding to ensure future opportunities like this are not lost.”

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is pleased to have the 4,777 acre Success parcel come into public ownership,” said Hawk Metheny, New England regional director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “It will provide additional protection and enhance the hiking experience along a fantastic 8 mile section of the Appalachian Trail. The entirety of the historic Success, Carlo Col, and Goose Eye Trails will now be on public land and will provide sustained local access to the Appalachian Trail for Coos County residents and visitors. We are thankful to everyone who worked in partnership to help make this happen.”

“The Dillon family would like to thank The Conservation Fund for bringing all parties together in this land acquisition, and give a special thanks to Nancy Bell,” said Scott and Thomas Dillon of T.R. Dillon. “Her knowledge and leadership throughout this transaction kept everyone working diligently to complete the project in a timely fashion.”

“It has been a profound pleasure to work with the citizens, local leaders and area businesses on this project,” said Nancy Bell, Vermont director of The Conservation Fund. “People in the Berlin region and Coos County are working together for a better future beyond the current economic downturn, and this kind of visionary thinking requires bold action. Protecting the natural resources and recreational assets along the Appalachian Trail is one phase of a larger initiative to conserve larger blocks of working forestlands and the timber related economies that come with them. The Conservation Fund looks forward to continued partnership with these communities.

For additional information, contact: Nancy Bell, (802) 492-3368, nancy_bell@vermontel.net

Photos: The Outlook from Mahoosuc Trail (top) and North Bald Cap Mountain (bottom) both courtesy Bill Duffy.


About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.


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