November 23, 2022

New Technology Highlights Strategic Conservation Initiatives of USVLT

News Release



Carissa Milliman

Development/Outreach Coordinator

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust



New Technology Highlights Strategic Conservation Initiatives of USVLT


Conway, NH - Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (USVLT)

 In 2021, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (USVLT) began work on a 10-year update to the organization's Strategic Conservation Plan with the goal of identifying focus areas with large concentrations of unprotected lands of high conservation importance. 

Advances in GIS mapping capabilities presented an opportunity to visualize complex data to better evaluate conservation priorities and demonstrate areas of conservation need. Funding from the Open Space Institute and the State of NH Conservation Committee’s Moose Plate Grant made it possible for the Land Committee to work with Pete Howe of Cold Mountain Maps and the Community Center for GIS to update the 10-year Strategic Conservation Plan. 

The process began by learning about ARCGIS story map capabilities and identifying and ranking conservation values of importance. Mark Dindorf, interim executive director, shared that "The ARGIS system allows us to identify focus areas and create GIS layers to evaluate conservation values in what we refer to as a co-occurrence map. These maps easily highlight the areas of greatest conservation need that remain unprotected and allow us to identify our strategic conservation focus areas for the coming decade."

Sharing the organization's conservation goals for the future - and this conservation data - is critically important to USVLT. It is available at and will soon be presented to the conservation commissions and planning boards in the land trust's 11-town service area. According to Doug Burnell, president of the Board of Directors, "It's critically important to share this work and act together to conserve these important natural resources for future generations."


The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our motto is “Preserving Land for Community Benefit.” USVLT has completed more than 80 conservation projects since 2001, totaling 13,000 acres throughout the towns of Hart’s Location, Bartlett, Jackson, Albany, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, and Madison in New Hampshire, and Brownfield, Denmark, and Fryeburg in Maine. Learn more about the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust by calling (603)662-0008 or visiting