Land conservation effort underway in Sunapee: Wendell Marsh North

WendellMarshN_trailSunapee, N.H. – An exceptional land conservation effort is underway in Sunapee.

“Sometimes an important resource seems to be on its way to development, and nothing a land trust or concerned neighbors say or do will change the trajectory of that development. That seemed to be the case with the Wendell Marsh area for many years, but today, we have a chance to begin conserving the Wendell Marsh area,” says Land Protection Specialist Beth McGuinn in the Ausbon Sargent newsletter (Winter 2013).

Ausbon Sargent, a regional land trust, and Sunapee Conservation Commission are working to protect 136 acres between Ryder Corner and Wendell Marsh: Wendell Marsh North.

$35,000 in donations and grants is needed to complete the project.

“Most travelers along Rte. 11 in Sunapee are surprised to learn that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department owns only a few acres near the large wooden sign declaring ‘Wendell Marsh Waterfowl Management Area,'” says Ausbon Sargent in its informational sheet on the project.

“The Department’s primary ownership is the right to flood the Sugar River which creates Wendell Marsh, a rich and diverse wildlife habitat. However, the land that filters water draining into the marsh is not conserved. In fact, some of that land was planned for a water bottling facility.”

Wendell Marsh North offers important public benefits

Conserving this land would permanently protect part of the Wendell Marsh watershed and 2200 feet of the brook flowing from Perkins Pond.

WendellMarshN_brookIt would also reserve drinking water wells for municipal uses.

Highlighted by the Sunapee Master Plan as best suited for conservation, the area would provide wildlife habitat for a diversity of species and provide public access for hiking, nature observation, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hunting and snowmobiling.

The conservation commission has been interested in protecting the land around the marsh for many years.

When this land became available last year, Jolyon Johnson, Sunapee, who has long recognized the land’s importance for conservation purposes, stepped in and acquired the parcel. He has offered to sell at a bargain price the 136 acre property to the Town of Sunapee with a conservation easement to Ausbon Sargent.

WendellMarsh_MapAusbon Sargent estimates the project cost is $297,000, which includes “purchase of the property and expenses such as survey, legal, appraisal and stewardship (forever).”

The Sunapee Conservation Commission with a pledge of $252,000 strongly supports the projects.

Funding from private donors is needed to complete the project.

To learn more about the project…

Download/view, from Ausbon Sargent:

Wendell Marsh North Info 1-23-13 (PDF 856KB)

or contact any of the Wendell Marsh North conservation committee members:

  • Debbie Stanley, executive director for Ausbon Sargent
  • Beth McGuinn, land protection specialist for Ausbon Sargent
  • Van Webb, chairman of the Sunapee Conservation Commission
  • Tim Fleury, vice chairman of the Sunapee Conservation Commission

To contribute…

Contributions can be sent to Ausbon Sargent at PO Box 2040, New London, NH 03257. Note that your donation is for “Wendell Marsh North.”

Photos and map reprinted with permission from Ausbon Sargent.

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