Ausbon Sargent to host Woods Forums for landowners

Wendell Marsh wolf tree BW_smKearsarge-Sunapee Region, N.H. — Are you a landowner with let’s say 25-acres or more and would like to get together with other landowners in your area to discuss topics of common interest?  If so, one of Ausbon Sargent’s Woods Forums may be for you.

Ausbon Sargent, a land trust serving the Mt. Kearsarge – Lake Sunapee region, will be hosting several evening meetings for landowners to gather with each other, have a short presentation on a topic of interest, and discuss with fellow landowners topics and questions they choose.

The first Woods Forums will be held on March 21 and April 11.

For more information, visit the land trust website calendar listing or contact Nancy Smith at Ausbon Sargent, phone 603-526-6555, email nsmith@ausbonsargent.org.

Ausbon Sargent celebrates 25 years of land protection

Photo: Clark Lookout affords a magnificent view of Lake Sunapee with Mt. Sunapee in the distance.  A trail map of this easy .5 mile hike can be viewed at www.ausbonsargent.org/trails.

Today’s Earth Day week focus is on land conservation in the Mt. Kearsarge-Lake Sunapee region — the work of the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust.

Since 1987 Ausbon Sargent has been protecting our special, open spaces: farms, forested lands, streams and wetlands. These areas contribute mightily to the regional landscape.

Their protected properties now number 120 and total 9,742 acres with over 7 miles of shore frontage including 4,700 feet of frontage on Lake Sunapee. This work involves stewardship and education and lots of support from volunteers and community partners.

To learn more: View the map of properties. Read about the organization’s history and namesake. View a gallery of protected lands.

And here’s what’s coming up — special events and volunteer opportunities — as Ausbon Sargent celebrates its 25th birthday!

>> “Landscapes for Landsake” art exhibit at New London Hospital from May 25 through mid-September.

>> Thursday’s Child Benefit Dinner on May 31, 2012

Rockwell’s at the Inn and the New London Inn presents Thursday’s Child dinners to benefit local nonprofit organizations. Dine at Rockwell’s at the Inn (in the main dining room or the tavern) and 50% of the profits from the evening will go to Ausbon Sargent. For reservations, phone 603-526-2791.

>> Training Workshop: Monitoring Protected Properties on June 6

Help protect land by training to be one of Ausbon Sargent’s 90 land steward monitors. Call the Ausbon Sargent office for more information and to register with Sue Andrews at 603-526-6555 or email sandrews@ausbonsargent.org.

“We have been so successful adding new protected properties that we need an additional 12 easement monitors. This is a wonderful opportunity to be in the woods making a concrete contribution to saving our rural landscape,” says land protection specialists Andy Deegan and Beth McGuinn.

>> Spring Ledge Farm Feature, Main Street, New London on June 10
Starting at 4:30 p.m., take a tour of the farm and enjoy listening to guest speaker, the former Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Taylor.

>> “Happy Birthday, Ausbon!” on the New London Town Common on June 11

Come to the party on the green (from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for a tribute to Ausbon Sargent, on his birthday. There will be music and stories and entertainment reflecting on Ausbon and the New London Common, which he purchased in 1985 and gifted to the town for conservation and enjoyment by future generations.

Coming up: The Life & Times of Herbert Welsh

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book The New Gentleman of the Road, which chronicled his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

Sunapee Historical Society

Presents a Cracker Barrel Talk

The Life & Times of

Herbert Welsh

Sunapee Artist, Humanitarian, Indian Rights Activist & Father of Mount Sunapee’s Public Lands

Thursday, July 21, 2011 – 7 PM
Sunapee Historical Society Museum, Sunapee Harbor

Presentation by Barbara Chalmers
Part of Friends of Mount Sunapee
“Mount Sunapee: Welsh Centennial Celebration”

Program is open to the public free of charge. All invited to attend.

Related info…

Legacy of man behind Sunapee purchase to be feted – NewsTimes

SUNAPEE, N.H. AP —The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests owns more than 50,000 acres in 170 locations across the state, and it all began 100 years ago with the purchase of a parcel on Mount Sunapee orchestrated by an unsung crusader named Herbert Welsh. Generations later, those equally passionate about Mount Sunapee are planning a celebration of Welsh and his legacy of saving the mountain from being further gouged by paper companies threatening its old growth forest.

via Legacy of man behind Sunapee purchase to be feted – NewsTimes.

A call for land steward monitors

Help protect land by joining over 100 land steward monitors that volunteer for the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. The land trust continues to be successful adding new protected properties, which means that they need additional easement monitors. “This is a wonderful opportunity to be in the woods making a concrete contribution to saving our rural landscape,” according to a recent release.

A training workshop for land steward monitors will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be one hour of classroom work and then participants will head outside for the remainder of the workshop, which is provided free of charge.

Ausbon Sargent currently protects 116 land projects encompassing over 9,300 acres in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area.  It’s office is located in New London, New Hampshire.

Contact Sue Andrews at Ausbon Sargent for more information and to register. Phone 603-526-6555 or email aslptsea@tds.net.

Land conservation workshop to be held in Grantham

Conservation Options Workshop

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Grantham Town Hall, 300 Route 10, Grantham, NH 03753

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Upper Valley Land Trust and UNH Cooperative Extension are offering a land conservation workshop to landowners and families.

The presentation will also include information on new conservation related income tax benefits and Federal Estate Tax, as well as news on state and federal programs that provide funding for conservation projects.

Pre-registration required. Registration deadline is Tuesday, April 26, 2011. To register for this workshop, please call 603-679-5615 or email: deb.stevens@unh.edu. NOTE: If you have accessibility needs, contact Deb Steven ASAP.

A workshop brochure can be downloaded at: http://extension.unh.edu/Forestry/Forestry.htm

How to best celebrate Mt. Sunapee land conservation?

What is the best way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of land conservation on Mount Sunapee? The Friends of Mount Sunapee will host a discussion with all interested in celebrating the event at an upcoming public meeting on Wednesday, April 20th at the Community Methodist Church, 17 Lower Main Street, Sunapee starting at 7:30 p.m.

“2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the first land protection campaign on our beloved Mount Sunapee,” said Tom Elliott, a member of the board of directors for Friends of Mount Sunapee (FOMS). “Learn more and join in the celebration!”

A century ago

A hundred years ago this year, Herbert Welsh, the father of land conservation on Mount Sunapee, led an effort to purchase the first patch of protected forest on Mount Sunapee and place it in the public trust forever.

With clear-cut logging quickly moving up the mountainside, Welsh mobilized Sunapee locals, summer friends, and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests to buy the first 656 acres of land on Mount Sunapee for conservation.

This initial $8,000 campaign became the first in a century of citizen-led efforts to protect many thousands of acres of beautiful, natural forestland on and along the Sunapee Ridge, including the land now preserved in our beloved Mount Sunapee State Park.

To a More Glorious Mount Sunapee

Welsh sometimes ended his persuasive writings with the line, “To a more glorious Mount Sunapee.” FOMS believes that he included “more” because he viewed the 1911 campaign as the first, and not the last, grassroots effort to preserve and enjoy Mount Sunapee.

Following his vision, the Forest Society, State of New Hampshire, and many other supporting organizations continued to protect pieces of the mountain, eventually accumulating a 2,200 acre state park and more than 20,000 acres of wildlands to its south, including Pillsbury State Park and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway lands.

A century later, Welsh’s initial campaign deserves great recognition. His intention for “more” deserves our energy and support. FOMS would like your help in achieving both. — FOMS meeting announcement

To read more about Herbert Welsh, download/preview or print “Herbert Welsh: Walking Crusader.” (Note: PDF is 1.1 MB.) The article by Shelly Candidus was printed in SooNipi Magazine in 2004. This special re-print of the article includes the “Outline Map of Points Visible from Mount Sunapee” published in the Manual of Mount Sunapee in 1915  for the Sunapee Branch of the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

More information go to the FOMS website or call 603-863-0045.

Photo courtesy of SooNipi Publishing: Taken over a century ago and scanned from a glass negative, the photo (above) is a panoramic view of Lake Sunapee with Mount Sunapee in the distance.

Friends of Mount Sunapee advocates for protection of Mount Sunapee State Park for its essential public values; conservation of the Lake Sunapee watershed and Sunapee highlands; and preservation of the unique character and natural beauty of the rural communities in the mountain’s shadow.

Black Mountain will be conserved

The Forest Society has confirmed that Black Mountain will be conserved. The organization has raised the $1.2 million needed to acquire the 1,025-acre property located next to Mount Kearsarge in Sutton and Warner.

“Black Mountain is part of one of the largest and most ecologically important forest blocks in New Hampshire south of the White Mountains,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “Only last week we were still $14,000 shy of our goal, but since then we have received a blizzard of donations. This outpouring of support shows that land conservation remains a high priority for people.”

“The support that we received from the Sutton and New London conservation commissions, the Ausbon-Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition, and the local snowmobile community has been key to this project’s success,” said Difley. “We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us to conserve this important piece of the Mount Kearsarge landscape.” Continue reading

Black Mountain gets boost from Fish and Game

The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is working with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to obligate $150,000 of Wildlife Restoration Funds to the NH Forest Society land protection project on Black Mountain. This contribution will come from US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Pittman-Robertson Act funds. The NH Department of Fish and Game will hold a conservation easement on the land.

“We are so close to reaching our goal,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “We are so grateful to all the many individuals and businesses that have contributed to the Black Mountain conservation campaign so far. Thanks to them, if the Fish and Game funds come through, we will be just $14,000 away from ensuring that this land remains intact.”

Fish and Game is pleased to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring funding from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program to the Black Mountain Forest project,. The project will protect a large section of Mount Kearsarge, a defining landscape feature in central NH, and conserve significant fish and wildlife habitat resources for all the state’s citizens. — Charlie Bridges, habitat/wildlife diversity programs administrator at the NH Department of Fish and Game Continue reading

LCHIP Grants Go To 24 Projects Including Black Mountain

Mount Kearsarge and Black Mountain together form a picturesque and historic backdrop to several communities. View from near NH 11 and NH 114 in Sutton. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) this week announced the award of matching grants to 24 projects including an  initiative to protect 1025 acres on Black Mountain in Sutton and Warner.

“LCHIP announced a $150,000 grant for Black Mountain, bringing the campaign over the $1 million mark,” said Forest Society Vice President for Development Susanne Kibler-Hacker. “Today’s total is $1,035,360. We have December 15 to raise the remaining $165,000.”

Read the Forest Society announcement.

Read more about the Black Mountain initiative.

Continue reading

Forest Society Hosts Black Mountain Events

The mountain’s streams and cascades drain to the Blackwater and Warner Rivers. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

This autumn, the legacy of conserved forest land surrounding the open summit of Mount Kearsarge could see a new chapter as the Forest Society works to purchase 1,025 acres on Black Mountain in Sutton and Warner adjacent to Mount Kearsarge.

Learn more about the conservation project at these upcoming events:

• A hike of Black Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 am to 4 pm. Preregistration is required. Call 603-224-9945 or email signup@forestsociety.org.

• Informational sessions—Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm at Tracy Memorial Library, New London, and on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 pm at the Sutton Town Hall. Continue reading

Goubert Family Protects 75 Acres on Mount Sunapee

 

Andrews Brook forest pool on Mount Sunapee. Photo by Jeff Sluder.

 

Last summer, Delnoce Goubert, Sunapee, attended a Forest Society lecture about the natural history of the Mount Sunapee region. After the event, he approached the presenter about land that his family owned near the base of Mount Sunapee. He asked if the Forest Society would be interested in taking ownership of this land, which had been in his family for more than 70 years.

Almost one year later, the Forest Society accepted a gift of 75 acres in Newbury from Delnoce, his brother Peter Goubert, and his sister Jean Goubert Sisley.

The land has been in the family since 1937, and the Gouberts themselves have been actively involved with the Forest Society since the late 1930s. Originally from New York, the family initially purchased the land, along with some surrounding acreage, as a country retreat.

The original estate included a 250-year-old house, where Delnoce and his family spent summer and winter vacations. The house wasn’t far from Andrews Brook, which cuts through a deep gorge on the property. Delnoce remembers carrying fresh brook water to the house during summer and chopping ice in the winter.

He reminisces about the land with affection. “As kids, we spent our summers here,” he said. “Long before there were trails, we used to run up and down the mountain. We’d come up in the winter to go skiing.” Continue reading

NH Forest Society Seeks to Protect Black Mountain

Earlier this month, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced it is working to purchase 1,025 acres on Black Mountain, a secondary peak of Mount Kearsarge in the towns of Sutton and Warner. If successful in raising $1.2 million by Dec. 15, the Forest Society will manage the property as one of its Forest Reservations.

 

Mount Kearsarge and Black Mountain together form a picturesque and historic backdrop to several communities. View from near NH 11 and NH 114 in Sutton. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

 

Just two years ago, the land was advertised as a promising site for a residential subdivision. Today, the landowner has agreed to sell the parcel to the Forest Society, but the $1.2 million must be raised by Dec. 15. To date the Forest Society has identified funding sources for approximately $650,000 of the total.

For more information about Black Mountain or to contribute to the project, visit www.forestsociety.org/blackmountain, email skh@forestsociety.org, call 603-224-9945, or look for “Black Mountain, NH” on Facebook.

The Black Mountain project continues our century-long commitment to protecting the area around Mount Kearsarge, one of New Hampshire’s iconic peaks. We know that it will be a challenge to raise the funds in the short time frame, but we need to take advantage of this opportunity. – Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley Continue reading

Current Use Workshop in Bradford NH March 24

Scenic rural road lined by agricultural fields and forested lands along the Langdon-Charlestown town line in Sullivan County, NH. Photo by Catherine Bushueff, Sunapee.

Rural landowners of 10 or more acres can enroll their property in the state “Current Use” program and lower their property taxes. However, this protected property also has restrictions on its future use. An informational workshop on the NH Current Use Tax Rules, sponsored and conducted by the UNH Cooperative Extension, will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at the Bradford Town Office, 75 West Main Street, Bradford (NH) from 7 to 9 p.m.

This is a free workshop. It will explain the Current Use assessment and different aspects of the program. It’s designed to help land owners determine if this form of land conservation is appropriate for them. It will also provide a good review of regulations for those already participating in Current Use. (See the program announcement, pdf 33KB: CUBradford).

For more information or directions, contact Tim Fleury (tim.fleury@unh.edu), Merrimack County Cooperative Extension office, (603) 796-2151 (Ext. 325) or visit www.extension.unh.edu. Fleury is a Forest Resources educator for the Extension Service and member of the Sunapee Conservation Commission.

Visit SPACE (NH’s Current Use Coalition) for more information including:

What is Current Use? Current Use Assessment provides a property tax incentive to all qualifying landowners who agree to maintain their land in an undeveloped condition. This assessment is based on the capacity of the land to produce income in its current use-whether it is managed farm or forest, or unmanaged open space. Current Use is the cornerstone of the state’s land conservation efforts, with over half the land in New Hampshire is enrolled in this valuable program.

“It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to encourage preservation of open space, thus providing a healthful and attractive outdoor environment for work and recreation of the state’s citizen’s, maintaining the character of the state’s landscape, and conserving the land, water, forest, agricultural and wildlife resources.” - NH Current Use law RSA 79-A (enacted July 1, 1973)

Sunapee 2010 Town and School Meeting Results

Yesterday’s Sunapee Town Meeting, which operates under SB2,  approved (626 to 208) an $8 million upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and rejected (392 Yes to 479 No) an advisory article about using the historic Old Town Hall for a new library. All municipal warrant articles passed except two. Voters rejected article 23, the Old Town Hall-library question, and article 24 that sought to create and fund with $25,000 a capital reserve fund for the purpose of acquiring and building recreation fields. The recreation fields capital reserve fund failed by three votes (424 Yes to 427 No).

Amongst the approved articles were five zoning amendments including guidelines for workforce housing. Also, voters approved the town’s $5.765 million budget, several equipment purchases and capital reserve funding requests, and a new capital reserve fund for the maintenance of town buildings. It was funded with $25,000. Most of these articles passed with comfortable margins. However, the purchase of a new police vehicle got a narrow approval, 418 to 415.  A favorable vote (639 to 212) will provide for a $12,000 ADA compliant restroom at Dewey Beach, the town’s popular public beach located on Garnet Street.

Voters overwhelmingly approved (724 to 130) a conservation easement to permanently protect 79 acres of Town Forest at Ledge Pond with Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust as easement holder. They also approved (637 to 231) $15,000 for the Conservation Commission Fund.

The school budget and warrant articles passed with one exception: Voters turned down (359 to 492) a request for $400,000 to renovate the Blodgett House for use as offices for the Sunapee SAU office. The school’s $9.95 million budget passed 574 to 272.

Of Sunapee’s 2839 registered voters, 891 (or 31%) cast ballots, according to the Town Clerk.

For a complete tally of town and school Town Meeting and election results, visit the town website.

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