Two guided tours of the Hay Estate offered in June

The Fells 013Newbury, N.H. – The Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests and The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens are co-sponsoring two historical walks, called “The Hidden History of the Hay Estate,” on Wednesday, June 4, and Wednesday, June 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hay Forest Reservation in Newbury.

Both walks will be guided by Dave Anderson, the director of education for the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests.

Participants of the June 4 walk will examine evidence suggesting what the Hay estate was like during the era of Clarence L. Hay. Walkers will stop at the cement cistern that fed water to The Fells, see the ruins of a sugarhouse, visit the Milton Clark/Nathan Baker farm cellar complex – the last and most expensive parcel purchased by statesman John Milton Hay, secretary to Pres. Abe Lincoln — and walk along the “Old Farm Road Trail” to see the Sarah Bartlett cellar-hole. Walking distance is about two miles.

Participants of the June 18 walk will discover how the Hay family and workers on the estate experienced The Fells from evidence and artifacts that are hidden in plain sight. They’ll tour the “Coach Road Trail” (the historic road used by the Hays to access a favorite picnic spot on Sunset Hill); a unique swath of forest that hosted hurricane salvage operations along Lake Sunapee; the ruins of a water pumping shed; and the site of the former swimming dock located south of the mouth of Beech Brook. Walking distance is estimated to be 1.5 miles.

Attendance at Part 2 is not contingent upon attendance at Part 1. The cost is $5 for each walk. These events, which start at The Fells Welcome Kiosk, are supported by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Wellborn Ecology Fund and the Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation.

To register, call 603-763-4789 x3.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. The organization owns 50,000 conserved acres of land in New Hampshire and holds conservation easements on another 115,000 acres.

 

 

 

 

Q2C: A meeting for NH trail enthusiasts May 2

Quabbin to Cardigan mapAttention, New Hampshire trail enthusiasts.

The Southwest Regional Planning Commission and Monadnock Conservancy will be hosting the last of three meetings of organizations and citizens interested in a possible long-distance hiking “Quabbin-to-Cardigan” trail in western New Hampshire –  from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border to Mt. Cardigan and beyond to the White Mountains.

When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m

Where: Community Room at Antioch New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, N.H.

The meeting is a key part of a trail study being managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Appalachian Mountain Club, with help from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program.

“The goal of the study is to take a first look at the feasibility of and local interest in a long-distance trail in the region. The study is NOT for creating any new federal or state designation of trails in the area,” according to the release.

At the meeting, people will be able to:

  • view maps of the area
  • speak with others in southwest N.H. about potential trail routes and connections, and
  • get answers to any questions about the trail study.

The information provided at the three meetings will help decide the next steps in the trail study.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

RSVP by contacting Lelia Mellan at NPS, Lelia_Mellen@nps.gov or 802-457-3368 x14, or Mike Gilldesgame, mgildesgame@outdoors.org, by Friday, April 27.

Related article:  How about a Quabbin-to-Cardigan hiking trail? (Sunapee News)

Hiking and camping on Mount Sunapee will honor Welsh legacy

On Saturday, August 27 at Mount Sunapee State Park, the Friends of Mount Sunapee and Herbert Welsh Centennial Celebration Committee are sponsoring a day of outdoor activities to honor Herbert Welsh and 100 years of conservation efforts to protect land that is now part of Mount Sunapee State Park—one of New Hampshire’s iconic mountain parks.

Dave Anderson, director of education for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and Christopher Kane, a conservation biologist who has studied Mount Sunapee’s old growth, will lead a hike to Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude, where the group will stop for lunch.

Hikers will be able to learn about the mountain’s natural and cultural history and its old growth forest. Mount Sunapee State Park has the largest known fragment of old growth south of the White Mountains.

Participants will bring a picnic lunch, start from the state park campground at 9 am and return about 2 pm.

To register for the Welsh Centennial Hike to Lake Solitude, visit: welshcentennial827.eventbrite.com

After the hike, participants can further explore the mountain or relax at the state beach on Lake Sunapee. (There is free entrance to the beach area for campers, otherwise there is a nominal state park fee.)

Evening camping activities will start at 5 p.m. and will include music, singing around the campfire and a celebratory cake. Participants will bring own food for the grills–dinner and beverages. Event organizers have reserved several campsites that are available on a first-come basis.

For more information, contact Friends of Mount Sunapee. Email: info@friendsofmountsunapee.org or phone 603-863-0045.

For Centennial activities & updates, visit: friendsofmountsunapee.org.

Photo description: Located along the Sunapee Ridge between the summit and South Peak, at 2,510 feet, is Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude.

Learn about dragonflies on this guided walk

Did you know there are more species of dragonfly found in New Hampshire than in the whole state of California?

Land Steward Specialist Carrie Deegan from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Andy Deegan of the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust will lead an easy, short walk on Thursday, August 11 (rain date Friday, August 12) from 2 to 4 pm on the Forest Society’s Langenau Forest in Wilmot.

Participants will learn how to identify the major families of dragonflies and damselflies while capturing and releasing them in the field. Children are welcome!

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, email signup@forestsociety.org or call Tina at 603-224-9945 ext. 313.

Photos courtesy of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Boy with dragonfly by Carrie Deegan. Dragonfly by Andy Deegan.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust preserves the rural landscape of the Mt. Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee region. For more information, visit www.ausbonsargent.org.

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.

Sunapee Environmentalist/Writer Eliassen is Forest Society Secretary

Midge Eliassen, Sunapee, is now the secretary for the Board of Trustees of the Forest Society.

Eliassen has served on the Board since 2007, and also serves on the organization’s Outreach Committee.

She is active in the Lake Sunapee Protective Association and is currently that group’s newsletter editor and its former president. And she has a long history in the community, having chaired the Sunapee Zoning Board of Appeals and serving as a member of the town’s School Board Committee.

Eliassen has a BA from Smith College and an MS from Columbia University. She is a self-employed writer whose work has appeared in many local, regional, and statewide publications, including Forest Notes and Soo-Nipi magazines.

Other recently elected Forest Society officers include Goffstown resident Carolyn Benthien, who will serve as chair; Stephens Fowler from Hanover as vice chair; and Hancock resident Leonard “Hunt” Dowse as treasurer.

The Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. .

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

Outdoor News and Views

Outdoor news: Mount Sunapee Resort, the ski area that operates at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury (NH), will open for the season today, Tuesday, November 30th.  According to the resort’s website: there will be “6,000 feet of top-to-bottom skiing and riding on Upper and Lower Blast Off trails. Terrain will be available for advanced and intermediate skiers and riders only. The Sunapee Express quad will be operating.” On Friday, the ski area will open “a top-to-bottom run on South Peak for novice skiers and riders.”

On the quieter side: A thin skim of ice is just beginning to appear on the coves and the quiet waters around Lake Sunapee. Yet, despite the colder temperature yesterday, two kayaks could be seen venturing out of Job’s Creek.

Photographer and outdoorsman Jim Block recently posted Sunapee Reflections…a captivating slide show of images that mirror nature and buildings around Great Island. With kayak and camera, Jim was out on Lake Sunapee November 21st, and last week posted the photos to his blog.

Nature and the Outdoors: Something Wild is a nature series produced by New Hampshire Public Radio with the NH Forest Society and the New Hampshire Audubon. Tune in weekly… on Fridays at 8:37 a.m. during Morning Edition and Sundays at 7:04 a.m. during Living On Earth. A catalog of topics aired on Something Wild is available on Forest Society website.

You can listen to NHPR at:

107.1 FM Berlin/North Conway WEVC
105.9 FM Colebrook W290BK
89.1 FM Concord/Manchester WEVO
104.3 FM Dover W282AB
91.3 FM Hanover/Upper Valley/Littleton WEVH, W217BH
99.5 FM Jackson/Mt. Washington Valley WEVJ
90.7 FM
Keene/Southwest NH WEVN
88.3 FM Nashua WEVS
103.9 FM Portsmouth W280DG
97.3 FM Plymouth W247AO

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

Mink Hills to Mount Sunapee, Hike Hidden and Favorite Trails

Snowshoe

Feel like getting out for a hike? The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition  and Forest Society in conjuction with the Warner Conservation Commission have hikes coming up. They are open to members and non-members alike.

The SRK Coalition continues a winter schedule of weekly treks.  “Be prepared with clothing layers, food, water and snowshoes,” said the SRK release. “And please call the hike leader at least the night before to learn starting location and time.”

For details for the SRK hikes and Forest Society wildlife tracking hike in the Mink Hills, Warner…. Continue reading

SRK Greenway Hikes Continue

srk hike 07

Photo courtesy of SRK Greenway Coalition. A group photo from a Fall hike in a prior year.

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition reminds us that its Fall hike schedule continues this month. (See below.) And the group in collaboration with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests will host a special hike to Silver Mountain in Lempster on October 18.

Participants are asked to call the hike leader two nights before to get the starting location and time, and are advised to bring water, sun screen, a hat, and a snack.

  • Oct. 10 (Sat.) Great Brook Bridge, New London, to NH 4A, Wilmot. 3.2 miles, Easy, 2 hours. Brian Faughnan, 603-526-7838.
  • Oct. 11 (Sun.) Springfield, NH Route 114, to Great Brook Bridge, New London. 8.4 miles, Difficult, 6 hours. Susan and Michael Chiarella, 603-763-5879.
  • Oct. 17 (Sat.) NH Route 4A in Wilmot to Wilmot Center. 4.4 miles, Moderate, 3 hours. Ken Aldrich, 603-526-2942.
  • Oct. 18 (Sun.) Silver Mountain and the Ashuelot River headwaters in Lempster: a joint hike with the Forest Society and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club. 4 mi. Moderate. For info and carpool options, call Gerry Gold, 603-526-2857.

The SRK Greenway Coalition is a ten-town, all-volunteer non-profit organization with members throughout the SRK region and beyond. Greenway guidebooks are available at local book stores.

Capital Comments: Grant will enhance primary care at Newport Health Center

By New Hampshire State Senator Bob Odell

The legislative study committee on the closing of district courts, including the Claremont court, has met.  And the committee’s plan is to visit the three court facilities which are slated to be closed and hold a public hearing in Claremont, Milford and Colebrook.

Members of the committee include Representatives Peter Leishman (Peterborough) who will chair the committee, Gene Charron (Chester) who is the former superintendent of the Rockingham County Department of Corrections, Anne Grassie (Dover) who will act as the committee clerk, Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan (Exeter) and me.  I will serve as committee vice chair.

The current state budget has money to operate the three courts only for the first year of the biennium.  So, Representative Leishman has drafted legislation to fund the three courts for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2010.  Between the work and recommendations of the study committee and Representative Leishman’s appropriation bill, the legislature will have plenty to consider concerning new court consolidations.

*   *   *

“Business After Hours” are regular events sponsored by the chambers of commerce throughout the area.  Each event is hosted by a different local business or not for profit organization.  The Newport Chamber recently sponsored events that allowed participants a chance to catch up on news about two important organizations.

I am at the Newport Health Center from time to time so I know it is a busy place but I learned much more at a business after hours event there.  The number of patients at the Newport Health Center has been going up.  And New London Hospital has received a NH Department of Health and Human Services grant to enhance primary care health services for Sullivan County residents through the Newport Health Center.

The center is on top of one of the hot issues in Washington … electronic medical records … and will implement an electronic records system next year.  Not surprisingly, with a growing number of patients and additional services and providers at the center, plans to expand the clinical space sometime over the next two years is receiving serious discussion.

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About 20 years ago, Larry Zullo came through the door at Holiday Travel, which I had just bought, telling me I needed to contribute so the town could have a new senior center.  That was my introduction to the Newport Senior Center.  Although I have been there many times, at another business after hours, a tour through the facility with the President of the Board of Trustees, Joan Willey, reminded me of how many services and activities are provided.  There is the trip program, computer training, AARP tax preparation services, cribbage games, health and physical fitness activities, library and the list goes on and on.

Most interesting to me is that the senior center is also the home of Sullivan County Nutrition Services (SCNS).  Many readers are familiar with one service most of us know as “meals on wheels.”  SCNS prepares and delivers 400 meals every weekday to people in their own homes.  They also provide lunches every weekday at the Newport center, in Claremont and in Charlestown.  Primarily focused on nutritional needs of local seniors, anyone can drop in for a meal.  A small contribution is requested of seniors and a slightly larger amount from those younger.  But no one is turned away for lack of money for a contribution.

The Newport Senior Center is a wonderful and welcoming place for area seniors … just what Larry Zullo was saying it would be 20 years ago.

*   *   *

It was a beautiful sunny September Saturday.  And it was a great day in Lempster to hike a couple of miles from the old Wright summer house site to Long Pond and then cross over to Sand Pond and return.  There were nearly 40 hikers with several from Lempster with others coming from distant parts of the state.

The hike was part of the public education and fund-raising for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests effort to protect the source of the Ashuelot River.  The Society is attempting to purchase 1,750 acres including three miles of undeveloped shoreline on Long Pond and Sand Pond as well as the summit of Silver Mountain.

A top goal of the project is to protect the water quality of the river which empties into the Connecticut River.  There are 25 towns in the Ashuelot River watershed and it provides drinking water to the City of Keene.  In addition to protecting the water quality, the land tracts will provide an outstanding recreation area open to the public for hiking, blueberry- picking, hunting and other outdoor activities.  We saw many signs of wildlife on the hike including bear and moose.  Protecting these land tracts combined with adjacent Pillsbury and nearby Mount Sunapee State Parks along with the 11,000 acre Andorra Forest in Stoddard will help sustain healthy and varied species of wildlife.  And economically, the lands will be managed for sustainable logging.

More than one person was heard to say “we need to come back here” indicative of the rare beauty and unique natural characteristics of the landscape.  On the trail between the shorelines of Long Pond and Sand Pond, there is a huge rock outcropping and cave that got plenty of attention.  Most hikers tried out a walk in cave.  What a pleasant way to spend three hours right in your hometown.

NH State Senator Bob Odell (District 8) is chairman of Ways and Means, a member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee, and the Finance Committee. Senate District 8 comprises: Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

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