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November 28. 2013 7:25PM

Donation will allow for purchase of Mt. Major land

CONCORD — An anonymous donation of $30,000 will help the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests buy and protect 950 acres and preserve access to Mt. Major, the popular hiking destination overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton.

The $30,000 adds to $20,000 from the NH Conservation License Plate program granted to the Everybody Hikes Mt. Major Campaign, a joint effort of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust.

The anonymous donation is gifted from a local family foundation.

“This family has been hiking in New Hampshire for generations, and they are very familiar with the Belknap Range and Mt. Major trails,” said Martha Twombly, development specialist with the forest society. “They also understand how much trail maintenance is needed for this popular hiking area, and that it is dependent on our ability to acquire ownership of the properties and trails,”

The license plate program supports protection of resources, including lands, historic sites and wildlife.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust have raised $917,000 of the $1.8 million goal to purchase and protect four properties, three of them on or near Mt. Major and one on Piper Mountain in Gilford.

Susanne Kibler-Hacker, vice president of development for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, said there have been more than 1,200 donations so far.The Lakes Region Conservation Trust has received four large anonymous donations recently for the campaign.

“We’re getting letters and calls daily,” Don Berry, Lakes Region Community Trust president, said in a press release announcing the latest donations.

“We hear from people who have been hiking throughout the Belknaps for decades and would like to make it possible for generations to come to do the same,” he said.

The campaign accepts donations at forestsociety.org or lrct.org.


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