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Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Our Mission

The purpose of MMRG is to identify and protect important natural resource areas, including water resources, farm and forestlands, wildlife habitat, recreational areas, cultural and scenic areas; to educate others about these efforts, and to join protected lands to form greenways.  LEARN MORE

 

 

. Conserving Your Land: A Landowner’s Introduction to Voluntary Land Conservation

 

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MMRG NEWS

Historic Property Conserved in Milton

 

Thirty-seven acres of land between Governors and Hare Roads in Milton have been preserved in perpetuity through two contiguous conservation easements donated to the Town by landowners Jonathan and Anne Nute. The donation and permanent conservation of the property was made official on Tuesday evening, December 3 at the Milton Town Hall when the easement documents were signed by the Nutes and Milton Selectmen Tom Gray and Mike Beaulieu. As holder of the easements, the Town of Milton takes responsibility for ensuring that the properties remain undeveloped and that other easement conditions are met. Also signing was Art Slocum, Chair of Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG), which is taking ‘executory’, interest in the easements, as a backup to the Town. Also present were Cynthia Wyatt, Chair of the Milton Conservation Commission and MMRG Vice Chair; David Levin, Milton Conservation Commissioner and MMRG Director; Michelle Beauchamp, Milton Town Clerk; and Kim Ladisheff, Milton Land Use Clerk (not in photo).

 

The property, a registered Tree Farm with historic stone walls, has been in the Nute family since 1850, when, according to Jonathan Nute, “it was one of many prosperous farms along the Ridge.” Since then, most farms have been replaced by houses and the Nutes wish to preserve this remaining undeveloped area of the Ridge. Said Jonathan, “These easements protect 37 acres of working forest and more than 1,600 feet of road frontage. In 1937, my grandfather and father planted white pine trees on the property, some of which have been already harvested; another thinning is planned soon.  Knowing that this property will remain forestland, preserved in partnership with the Town and MMRG, really gives us peace of mind and helps to honor all those generations in the past.”

 

Moose Mountain Regional Greenways (MMRG) collaborated closely with the Milton Conservation Commission (MCC) and the Nutes to work out the details of the easement. To assist the project, MMRG donated the consulting work of their Director for Land Conservation, Keith Fletcher. Accepting this executory interest is the first step as a land trust for MMRG, which decided earlier this year to begin holding conservation easements.

 

Cynthia Wyatt, MCC Chair, explained that the Commission has set aside money from its conservation fund to enable it to carry out its future stewardship responsibilities and monitor the property yearly. The MCC undertakes this monitoring on all conserved town properties to protect their natural resources: forest, field, and most importantly, water resources.

 

Even with donated easements such as these generously offered by Jon and Anne Nute, financial partnerships like that between the MCC and MMRG are usually necessary to complete a conservation project. Furthermore, some easements may be beyond the ability of Milton’s Conservation Commission to hold but still essential to preserving natural resources that are vital to Milton’s economic health, in particular, the water quality of Three Ponds and the Salmon Falls River. “For these reasons”, mentioned Wyatt, “the Conservation Commission would like to be able to financially support Milton conservation projects in which the easement will be held by a private non-profit land trust. To authorize this type of financial transaction, the MCC will have a warrant article on the 2014 ballot asking the town to approve use of the Milton Conservation Fund to assist organizations like MMRG and other land trusts to conserve properties in Milton.”

 

For more information on the Milton Conservation Commission, see their webpage http://www.miltonnh-us.com/conscomm.php. Visit www.mmrg.info to learn more about Moose Mountains Regional Greenways.

 

 

 

Union Meadows Conserved at Last!

 

“Union Meadows”, a new 122-acre Wildlife Management Area in Wakefield, has been conserved through the collaborative work of N.H. Fish and Game, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, the Town of Wakefield Conservation Commission and the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests.

 

N.H. Fish and Game acquired the property to protect its outstanding wildlife and water resources, and to provide the public with recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking and nature study. Conserving the property brings protection to more than a mile of shoreline on the Branch River and Union Meadows.

 

“The Branch River is home to the bridle shiner, a state threatened species, and the lower stretch of the river along the property is great waterfowl habitat, as is all of Union Meadows,” said Rich Cook, a N.H. Fish and Game land agent. “This property has been identified in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan as the highest ranked habitat in the State by ecological condition.”

 

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

MMRG Supports New Trail in Brookfield/Wakefield

 

MMRG recently donated $1,000 to the Wakefield/Brookfield Trails, Rails Action Committee (TRAC) in a ceremony with representatives from each group. According to Board Chair Art Slocum (not in photo) “MMRG is glad to support the Wakefield/Brookfield Rails to Trails effort as it will provide both towns with a great pathway for all to enjoy. MMRG is dedicated to both conservation and outdoor recreation for the towns that we support. Hopefully this new beginning will eventually result in this trail being extended to connect with Wolfeboro’s Cotton Valley and Bridge Falls trails. We hope that with this contribution this part of the trail will soon be completed so that people from our area and beyond and can walk, bike, and run on this new path while they are able to get outdoors and view the woodlands and wetlands along this scenic path.”

 

 

 

RECENT EVENTS

A Forester’s Advice to MMRG Workshop Group

 

A recent forestry workshop presented by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm (BHF) was graced with a perfect autumn morning and a group of a dozen interested and knowledgeable participants. Consulting forester Daniel Stepanauskas led the group up Davis Hill in Wakefield while pointing out features of the forest and answering many questions.

 

Stepanauskas explained that the forest we see in New Hampshire today is a product of numerous random economic decisions in the past. We can try to offset past negative impacts and benefit our current forest by using thoughtful management techniques to enhance the growth of species that benefit both mankind and wildlife and to facilitate forest adaptations to a changing climate. Climate change and invasive pests are bringing additional impacts. Ash trees are already declining due to reduced calcium levels from acid rain. The recent invasion of the emerald ash borer in NH (nhbugs.org) is nearly certain to spell the end of this fine tree species in our state for the foreseeable future.

 

Just as climate change affects our forest, forest practices can also influence the carbon cycle and our climate. Forests are carbon gluttons and in New England, the white pine is the most efficient species in the consumption of carbon dioxide. When wood is burned, nearly all of the carbon it contains is released into the atmosphere immediately. On the other hand, when wood is left to naturally decay as branches and slash, roughly 30% of its carbon is released into the atmosphere. The rest stays in the soil and is utilized by the regrowth of the forest. Good forest management practices try to imitate nature as much as possible by allowing the nutrients to return back to the soil. The soil is the source of life in the forest, and is the most important aspect of the forest ecosystem.

 

The quote of the day from Stepanauskas: “Leave the anomalies!” An unusual species, a very old tree, or forest should be left to live out its life. In addition to their intrinsic value, these trees frequently offer wonderful wildlife habitat. Additional advice: if you want to encourage the growth of desirable trees, wait for a good seed year, then create openings in the forest of the right size for successful germination of the desired species. Again, imitate nature: individual trees die and small openings occur in the forests of northern New England; large openings are very rare. To assess seed production, try imitating Stepanauskas, who lies on his back in springtime and looks through binoculars at the tree crowns.

 

 

MMRG, a non-profit land conservation organization, works to conserve and connect valuable water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land and offers educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources. Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchillfarm.org.

 

Two Land Trusts Hiked Copple Crown Mountain

 

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) hosted a two and a half mile hike up Copple Crown Mountain in Brookfield, NH, on Saturday morning, September 28. Thirty participants hiked and learned about the Copple Crown Mountain area from Art Slocum, who is MMRG Board Chair and LRCT Property Adopter for the LRCT 731-acre Copple Crown Conservation Area. Slocum talked about the former Copple Crown Mountain Ski Area, stone walls, cellar holes and the history of this part of Brookfield, NH.

 

There are 136 miles of stone walls in the town of Brookfield and during the hike, participants walked along Woodman Hill Road, a dirt road bordered by stone walls, and were able to inspect two cellar holes. The area once had twenty-three farms that were established with settlers from Portsmouth, Dover, and Rochester, thanks to construction of the Governor John Wentworth Road. Woodman Hill Road once was the main road from Brookfield to New Durham. With the opening of the Erie Canal, industrial development in New Hampshire cities, the sharp drop in the price for merino wool, and the devastating effects of the Civil War, the area slowly lost these families as they abandoned their farms to move to cities or head west to better farm lands in the period from 1830 to 1870.

 

From the top of Copple Crown Mountain’s main summit (elevation 1768 Feet), Slocum pointed out the mountain ranges that surround Lake Winnipesaukee, the Moose, Belknap, Sandwich, and Ossipee Mountains, as well as Mt Chocorua and Mt Washington. He noted that Copple Crown is higher than Mt Major in Alton and that from Copple Crown’s East Peak the view includes Caverly Mountain, Merrymeeting Lake and Mt Agamenticus in York County, ME.

 

In addition to these fabulous views, the outing group enjoyed looking at a porcupine crouched on the branch of a tree near the summit.

 

MMRG and LRCT are both Land Trusts serving New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and the small towns in Southern Carroll and Northern Strafford Counties. LRCT is completing another successful season of their Excursions Program where participants enjoyed hikes, kayak paddles and lectures on LRCT Properties. LRCT has conserved over 22,000 acres throughout the Lakes Region in more than 120 properties. LRCT’s conservation work preserves community character, conserves critical wildlife habitat and diverse ecosystems, protects natural landmarks and scenic landscapes, and provides recreational opportunities for people of all ages. To learn more, visit www.lrct.org.

 

Calendar of Outreach Events

Thursday, April 24, 10:30 am

Earth Week Family Forestry Walk

Branch Hill Farm and the NH Farm Museum, Milton

A guided walk through the woods with your kids is a great way to celebrate Earth Week! FREE to MMRG and Farm Museum members.

 


 

Saturday, April 26, 10 am–1 pm

Earth Day Milton Cleanup

Meet at NH Farm Museum, Milton

Join in this annual community effort to pick up the litter from our town roads. Co-sponsored with Branch Hill Farm.

 

MORE INFO

 


 

Saturday, May 24, 10 am–2 pm

10th annual Branch River Paddle

Branch River, Milton Mills

Bring your kayak or canoe for this scenic paddle along 2.5 miles of the Branch and Salmon Falls Rivers. Introduction to riparian buffers by Nels Liljedahl of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. River stops to see birds and learn about restoring stream water quality. Boat transport and picnic lunch provided. Co-sponsored by Branch Hill Farm/CSFCT. No pets please. Donation requested, Pre-registration required and numbers limited so sign up early!

 


 

Sunday, June 1, 2:30- 4:30  pm

4th annual Water Quality Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee

Wolfeboro Town docks

Learn about local water quality issues from Certified Lake Manager Don Kretchmer and enjoy the scenery and refreshments during this cruise on the Winnipesaukee Belle Charter Boat. Cost TBA. Pre-registration required; numbers limited so sign up early!

 


 

Saturday August 9, 10 am–3 pm

12th annual Woods, Water and Wildlife Festival

Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Rd, Milton Mills

This family-friendly celebration of the natural world features fun and educational outdoor activities. Take a hayride to the river, see rescued wild NH animals, explore the corn maze, learn traditional skills, take your kids on a discovery walk or fishing in the pond, update your natural science knowledge, join a guided nature walk and more! Co-sponsored by Branch Hill Farm/CSFCT. $5/adult, $10/family, FREE for kids 12 and under and MMRG members. Festival volunteers needed! Call to join our team of friendly volunteers who make the day so much fun for everyone!

 

MORE INFO

 


 

REGISTRATION INFO:

ALL EVENTS: To pre-register and for directions, call Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. Please do not bring pets to these events.

 

 

> Back to Events Calendar

 

RECENT EVENTS

The Many Moods of Moose

By Lorrie Drake, Board Member of MMRG

 

Cuddly moose, laid-back moose, raging bull-moose...and disappearing moose. On Monday evening, March 31, wildlife biologist Eric Orff captivated his audience with tales of his funny, frustrating, and thrilling encounters with moose during more than thirty years working for New Hampshire Fish and Game. The program, presented by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways and the Farmington Conservation Commission, and sponsored by Taylor Rental of Farmington, drew more than 50 people to the Old Town Hall in Farmington. Although the talk included wonderful photographs of moose in various settings, Mr. Orff admitted that most of the pictures weren’t his, since the work of tracking, tranquilizing, and transporting a variety of “problem moose” left him without a free hand to use a camera.

 

The second part of the program was sobering. Mr. Orff is now a consultant for the National Wildlife Federation, advocating for moose preservation. From a peak of over 7,000 animals in 1999, New Hampshire’s moose population has dropped to around 4,000. The decline is linked to climate change. In the southern fringe of their range, moose are infested by “winter ticks”, which feed on moose all winter long, weakening adults and seriously reducing calf survival. Warmer winter and spring weather allows more ticks to survive, and also causes heat stress in moose and higher rates of mortality in young moose. Female moose in poor condition do not reproduce successfully.

 

An important step in saving this iconic New Hampshire species is preserving moose habitat, especially “thermal refuges” like swamps and deep woods where moose can escape the heat. Land conservation efforts by MMRG and other conservation organizations help to preserve this critical habitat.

 

 


 

MMRG Celebrates!

 

We held our 2014 Annual Dinner Meeting/Silent Auction in the function barn of The Inn on Main, Wofleboro on Monday evening, February 3. The silent auction was supported by the largest number of donations ever and we extend sincere thanks to the members and businesses (listed at the end of this article) that contributed items. After the silent auction/cocktail hour, the program included a brief business meeting with MMRG news, appreciations and elections, followed by dinner, an award presentation and guest performer.

 

MMRG Executive Director, Virginia Long says, “We are thrilled with the enthusiasm shown by the community. The room was filled with MMRG supporters and the silent auction was our most successful ever, raising $4,300.” The 77 auction items donated by area businesses and individuals included nature books, hand crafted furniture, original art work and fine photographs. Auction proceeds support MMRG’s land conservation and educational outreach work.

 

Adds Long, “The Annual Meeting gives us an opportunity to thank all those who make our work possible. We again thank the landowners who have worked with us to conserve their land as well as our partner organizations who help us do this work. And we are pleased to thank our business co-sponsors for this event: Coyote Creek Outfitters, Eastern Materials, LLC, and Ransmeier & Spellman PC.”

 

Six Directors were elected to the Board (Jon Batson, At-Large; Nicole Csiszer, Brookfield; Lorrie Drake, New Durham; Cyndi Paulin, Farmington; Jack Savage, Middleton; and Cynthia Wyatt, Milton) joining seven Directors with continuing terms (Dan Coons, Wolfeboro; Dawn Evans, At-Large; David Levin, At-Large; Steve Panish, Milton; Bruce Rich, Wakefield; Art Slocum, Wolfeboro; and Nancy S. Smith, Wakefield). One Director position is still open; interested persons are invited to contact Executive Director Virginia Long at (603) 473-2020. Nancy Spencer Smith, Cynthia Wyatt, Jon Batson, and Dawn Evans were re-elected as Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.

 

MMRG announced that our five year fundraising campaign Help us Become a Land Trust is doing extremely well. The Executive Director reminded members and guests that, thanks to a gift from Cynthia Wyatt, Vice Chair and Founding Member of MMRG, gifts for the first year of the campaign will be matched up to $20,000. The first campaign year continues until June 30, 2014.

 

Art Slocum presented his report as retiring Chair, commenting that the decision to become a Land Trust has resulted in a wonderful amount of energy and creativity at MMRG and has revitalized our organization. New Board members and committee members from other conservation groups have brought fresh ideas and creative guidance to MMRG.

 

Vice Chair Cynthia presented MMRG’s ‘Conservationist of the Year’award to Mike Speltz, recently retired from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF). Mike was unable to be present to accept the award, so sent a short video speech with an inspiring message, saying, “We are cousins with each other and with every plant and animal on earth.” During his career at SPNHF, Mike was responsible for many collaborative conservation projects with MMRG, including the Moose Mountains Reservation in Brookfield/Middleton, the Salmon Falls Headwaters land in Milton, and the recent Union Meadows project in Wakefield, now owned by the NH Fish & Game Department.

 

 

Nancy Spencer Smith was elected as MMRG’s new Chair. She outlined her vision for expanding MMRG’s conservation efforts and emphasized why we should do all we can to protect “this fragile earth, our island home” from over development, water pollution, and destruction of wildlife habitat.

 

MMRG’s guest Gary Sredzienski, an accomplished accordionist, former forest ranger, and avid year-round swimmer, gave an entertaining presentation. He played and demonstrated several different accordions and spoke about his interest in preserving water quality. He displayed several unique items from river bottoms and coastal sea floors collected during his swims. He closed with a sing-along of “This is Your Land Trust” sung to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”, with new fun lyrics by MMRG Board, Staff and members.

 

We would like to thank all who participated in our Annual Dinner Meeting/Silent Auction and send a special thanks all our members who helped make 2013 our most successful year ever!

 

 

Thank you to our Silent Auction Donors!

4J's Earthworks
Art and Lynne Slocum
Birds and Beans Coffee
Blacks Paper and Gift Shop
Blue Seal Feeds
Branch Hill Farm
Bruce and Jennifer Rich
Bruce Rich
chedesigns.com
Cyndi and Mark Paulin
Darayl Remick
David Levin
Dottie Bean
Duane & Sandy Hammond
Elissa Paquette Photos
Dockside Grill & Dairy Bar
Governor's Inn
Granite Steak and Grill
Gratitude Yoga & Wellness
Gundalow Company
Johanna Helfer
Home Depot
Jack Savage and Cheryl Kimball
Jane Wingate Photography
Jay Fortune Custom Carpentry
Jenesis Gardens and Design
Jewelry by Che
Jill Paul
Jim & Nancy S Smith Theodore
Jim Smith Horseshoeing
Johanna Vienneau
Juls Twombley Multi-Media Artist
Kira Jacobsv
Lee Prescott
MapleStone School
Marty Conant and David Levin
Mary Current
McKenzie's Farm
Mikel O'Brien
Milton Hardware
Mitchell Horse Logging
New England Furniture
NH Farm Museum
Parsons Furniture
Rachel Towne
Salmon Press
Siemon and Wyatt Families
Staples Region 11
Steve Panish
Susann Foster Brown Studio
Suzanne Bonin
The Inn on Main
Trager Massage, LLC
Virginia Long
Walker & Varney, PC
Windjammers Restaurant

 

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