All Sections
action:frontpage | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE03 | adString:N/A | zoneID:17
Welcome guest, you have 2 views left. | Register | Sign In


Forest protection society closing in on money needed to preserve 500 acres in Mont Vernon


MONT VERNON — Progress has been made in raising the bulk of the money necessary to preserve 500 acres of forest in the area, but an additional $35,000 is needed to close the deal.

The land is owned by the Wilkins family and includes five parcels located throughout Mont Vernon and Amherst. The family, which has operated Wilkins Lumber Company for eight generations, has agreed to sell five easements to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The land would continue to be used for timber harvesting but would also be available to the general public for passive recreation such as hiking, hunting and fishing. The easements will also protect wetlands and streams that feed the Souhegan and Piscataquog rivers in the Merrimack River watershed.

“Like any well-managed working forest, the Wilkins acreage is home to diverse wildlife such as songbirds, amphibians, deer, moose and bears,” said Brenda Charpentier, communications manager for the forest society. “The easements will ensure that these lands remain intact to continue to provide high-quality wildlife habitat.”

The society set a goal of raising $190,000 for the purchase of the easements, and since April has raised $155,000. Though the original deadline for fundraising was Sept. 30, Tom and Sally Wilkins have agreed to extend the deadline to Dec. 1.

Charpentier said that despite the challenges of keeping their lumber company going in a soft economy, the Wilkinses agreed to donate 90 percent of the value of the easements to the society. The donation, she said, is a reflection of the Wilkinses’ conservation ethic, but there’s still a hill to climb.

“Our big challenge has been to raise the remaining 10 percent, plus the money needed for transaction costs and a stewardship endowment,” she said. “With $35,000 left to raise to cross the finish line, it’s exciting to be getting so close to being able to permanently protect these forests so that they’ll be havens of habitat and natural beauty close to where lots of people live.”

Martha Twombly, development specialist for the forest society, said residents of Amherst and Mont Vernon will benefit by having conservation land in their neighborhoods.

“We encourage outdoors-loving residents to look at the maps on our website (www.forestsociety.org), see how close these forests are to their homes and consider helping us to keep them open and undeveloped,” said Twombly.

nfoster@newstote.com


Comments


To improve the chance of seeing your comment posted here or published in the New Hampshire Union Leader:

  • Identify yourself. Accounts using fake or incomplete names are suspended regardless of the quality of posts.
  • Say something new, stay on topic, keep it short.
  • Links to outside URLs are discouraged, if used they should be on topic.
  • Avoid comments in bad taste, write well, avoid using all capital letters
  • Don't cite facts about individuals or businesses without providing a means to verify the claim
  • If you see an objectionable comment please click the "Report Abuse" button and be sure to tell us why.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

Be the first to comment.

Post a comment


You must sign in before you can post comments. If you are experiencing issues with your account please e-mail abuse@unionleader.com.


action:frontpage | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE03 | adString:N/A | zoneID:20
     

FOLLOW US
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required