Forest Legacy Funds Approved by State Legislature For Easement at Crotched Mountain
GREENFIELD, NH – On Friday, the State’s Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee voted 9 to 1 to approve a request by the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development to accept and expend a grant of $2.26 million from the U.S. Forest Legacy Program to create a conservation easement at Crotched Mountain Foundation. At its last meeting, the Committee had tabled the motion and requested more information from the NH Division of Forest and Lands and DRED, the project sponsor. The next step needed to complete an agreement between Crotched Mountain and the State of New Hampshire for an easement that would permanently protect 1,226 forested acres owned by the rehabilitation center is an approval by Governor John Lynch and the Executive Council.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence by the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee to permanently protect this property for generations to come,” said Donald L. Shumway, president and CEO of Crotched Mountain Foundation. “This easement will forever preserve our forested uplands, lowlands and the local watersheds of Greenfield and Bennington, while ensuring access to the public for outdoor activities including hiking, snowshoeing, waterfront sports and hunting. Protecting these valued resources also helps retain the rural character and tourism opportunities in this region.”
“We are also extremely grateful to State Senator Bob Odell and U.S. Representative Charlie Bass who supported and helped to usher this project through their respective committees at the state and federal levels, respectively. And we extend thanks to the many organizations and towns that enthusiastically supported this project by writing letters, making phone calls and having personal meetings with the Fiscal Committee members. Those organizations included the Greenfield Selectmen and Planning Committee, the Conservation Commissions from Greenfield and Francestown, the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, the Monadnock Conservancy, Todd Land Use Consultants of New Boston, Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, and many other organizations and individuals,” Shumway said.
Under the pending easement, Crotched Mountain retains ownership of the property, but cannot develop the property except for outdoor recreation activities. The Center will also be able to continue sustainable forestry on the property, which has been a certified tree farm for over 25 years.
Crotched Mountain’s accessible trail system is also included in the acreage protected under the pending easement. The property is contiguous with the Francestown Town Forest, creating miles of protected land that supports wildlife, ensures a scenic landscape, and helps to maintain portions of rivers and watersheds that support local public water supplies. The State of NH will hold and monitor the easement.
About Crotched Mountain
Crotched Mountain Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 1953 with a mission to serve individuals with disabilities and their families, embracing personal choice and development, and building communities of mutual support. Crotched Mountain provides specialized education, rehabilitation, community and residential support services for more than 3,000 people throughout New England and New York.