Androscoggin Valley Conservation Initiative
Androscoggin River, New Hampshire.
The Fund has been working for nearly a decade in the Androscoggin Valley, conserving river frontage, wildlife corridors and historic lands. Our work continues as we partner with willing land owners, land trusts and state agencies to save key lands in this region.
Androscoggin River In Maine
In three separate projects in 2010, we assisted the state in conserving river frontage and wildlife corridors that stretch from the Mahoosuc Mountains across the Androscoggin River. These lands also provide increased public access for boating and other recreational activities.
Philbrook Farm, New Hampshire
The initiative’s first project was the protection of Philbrook Farm Inn in the town of Shelburne, New Hampshire. Efforts to preserve Philbrook Farm Inn began in 2005 when the town of Shelburne contacted us to help develop a plan that would permanently protect the inn and property. Built in 1834 and established in 1861 as an inn, Philbrook Farm is the longest operated, continuously owned family inn in the nation and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town of Shelburne has a number of historic homesteads, farms and cemeteries that are eligible for listing on the National Historic Register, but the Philbrook Farm Inn has a special place in the community and was at risk of being sold and developed after the death of the owner. The inn and the adjacent Croftie Farm were selected for New Hampshire’s “Seven to Save” historic properties in 2006.
We worked for four years until the inn and surrounding property were protected permanently in 2009. This project involved many local partners, including the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, which provided a critical grant, and three landowners who donated conservation easements on their properties to leverage additional funding. The Shelburne Historical Commission, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, the state Fish and Game Department, the state Department of Agriculture, the Mahoosuc Initiative, the Mahoosuc Land Trust, Androscoggin Watershed Council and the Northern Forest Center all worked together to place a permanent conservation easement on the properties.
The properties together total slightly less than 1,000 acres of contiguous land with a mile of frontage on the Androscoggin River. The land also is a primary wildlife corridor across the river to the White Mountain National Forest, and there are numerous hiking trails, some of which link to the Appalachian Trail.