Thanks to Kirsten Gehl, Emily Lord and N. Van Dyke for these photos of the Snow Family Conservation Area land.

The fundraising to conserve the 320+ acre Snow Family Conservation Area is a wonderful example of collaboration between private donors and public funding sources.  Gifts from almost 100 private donors, members of MMRG, Kingswood Lake Association, Wentworth Watershed Association, as well as residents of Brookfield and Wolfeboro and beyond, were boosted by two generous grants, $65,000 from New Hampshire’s Land Conservation & Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and $20,000 from the New Hampshire State Conservation Commission (Moose Plate Grant), and by $55,000 additional support from the landowner.

The fundraising portion of the project is now complete and the transactional work to complete the conservation easement is well underway.

If you have followed the project announcements, then you have read of the land’s abundant natural resources and recreational opportunities on the side of Tumbledown Dick.  The property falls along MMRG’s Priority 1 Greenway, a well-documented wildlife corridor extending from Strafford County to the Ossipee Range. This corridor provides wildlife with refuge and an escape route from the developing seacoast region.  As noted by MMRG Executive Director Patti Connaughton-Burns, “almost the entire property falls within NHFG’s Wildlife Action Plan’s top tier for wildlife habitat.” This is not a surprise to those who walk the Snow Family land and observe moose and bobcat, as well as other less common species dwelling within its diverse habitats: cliff and talus, forested and emergent wetlands, meadows, oak-pine forests, and more.

For more than 20 years, landowner Stephen Snow has managed his 320 acres of working forest with an eye towards its economic and ecologic enhancement. With partial funding from NH Fish & Game (NHFG), he created 12 acres of meadow habitat for wildlife and is near completion of another 20-acre meadow. He has implemented creative and calculated timber-stand management techniques to nurture today’s productive forest out of an historic clear cut. He recently completed a loop trail to enhance the hiking experience along woods roads that will be forever open to public access for non-motorized and low-impact recreation and hunting, in accordance with LCHIP grant requirements. Stephen has also shared his skills by mentoring the next generation of foresters, including his two sons and students from Lakes Region Technical Center.

The land protects critical lake watersheds of the pristine Kingswood Lake and Lake Wentworth. The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Resilience project rates the land as “above average for resilience and connectedness”, with 90 acres rated “far above average for connectedness”.  The working forest also provides tax revenues to the town of Brookfield.

MMRG is grateful to all who have donated to ensure that this outstanding property will be conserved forever!