$1 million federal grant awarded to help conserve 1,100 acres in Epping, Nottingham
CONCORD — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program has awarded the state $1 million to help acquire and protect the 1,114 acre Harvey's Kennard Hill Forest in Epping and Nottingham.
The state Department of Environmental Services, partnering with the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire and state Fish and Game Department, will receive the funds.
The owners of the properties, Dan and Louise Harvey, and their eight adult children have agreed to sell a conservation easement on the property in the remote northwest corner of Epping and southern Nottingham.
The easement will be held jointly by Fish and Game and SELT, with executory interests held by the two towns.
The Harvey family has owned land in Epping since 1755.
The easement will eliminate threats to critical wildlife habitat and reduce the threat of wetlands and water contamination due to development, according to NHDES.
"Protecting water quality of Great Bay includes investing in conservation efforts such as this and we feel fortunate to be able to partner with SELT and Fish and Game to permanently protect the Harvey's Kennard Hill Forest," said NHDES Commissioner Tom Burack
The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.1 million. To purchase the easement, the project partners proposed a combination of funds from the grant, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program administered by Fish and Game, the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, the town of Epping, the state Conservation License Plate (moose plate) program, the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, the Open Space Institute and other public and private sources.