July 30, 2018| Forests

In 2014, the Fund purchased 30,000 acres of forestland across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine through our Working Forest Fund. This included 5,435 acres that encompass 27 percent of the Beebe River watershed. During our ownership, we’ve worked with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Forest Service – White Mountain National Forest to improve water quality and restore fish passage on these five tributaries. 

In 2016, this area was given the USDA Abraham Lincoln Honor for protecting important natural resources and habitat while maintaining working forests and sustainable economic opportunities for northern New Hampshire. The work was extensive! It involved removing five undersized culverts and bridges that impeded stream crossings, and replacing them with steel and plank bridges on the main access road through the property.

In addition, five miles of road were reconstructed and ditched, 1,200 feet of road were relocated away from the river, and 50 culverts were installed—all mitigating impacts of sedimentation and erosion to the river and restoring habitat, while improving access for continued forest management and providing flood mitigation to communities downstream.

This work was made possible, in part, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), an initiative of the 2014 Farm Bill. Its goal is to bring innovation, partners, resources, and leveraged funds together to reach conservation goals. In addition, with overwhelming community support, funding from the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program, through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, will ensure permanent protection of the land with working forest conservation easements that guarantee public recreational access for hunting, hiking, biking, cross country skiing and a state designated snowmobile trail in perpetuity.