January 25, 2023

USVLT Announces 2022 Successes

Read this article in the January 31, 2023 edition of the Conway Daily Sun by clicking HERE

Conway, NH – The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust is pleased to announce the completion of five new land and conservation easement acquisitions in 2022: growing the Pine Hill Community Forest in Conway, adding the Menotomy Preserve and adjacent conservation easement in Fryeburg, as well as protecting two local farms in Bartlett and Jackson.

 “In 2022 we were able to protect an additional 465 acres of land in the Mount Washington Valley,” said Abby King, Conservation Director. “These new conservation projects matter for improving wildlife habitat; creating new places for exploring, hiking, and skiing; conserving important farmland and working forests; and protecting water quality throughout the Saco River watershed. We’re proud to have been able to accomplish so much with the community’s support this year.”

Pine Hill Community Forest, Conway, NH

The Pine Hill Community Forest, located in the heart of Conway, grew to 593 acres this year. This beloved property surrounding Kennett High School hosts a network of trails, including the Conway Rec Path, the new Ravine Trail (hosting interpretive panels designed by Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Kennett High students), and more trails used for hiking, running, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The community forest protects an important 125-acre wetland complex and serves as an outdoor classroom for the high school.

Menotomy Preserve and Menotomy Field Conservation Easement, Fryeburg, ME

The Menotomy Preserve was donated to USVLT by Laura Burt and Steven Burt of San Antonio, Texas, on behalf of their father Howard Burt and his wife Penny Burt. The new 90-acre Menotomy Preserve includes rare Silver Maple Floodplain Forest, undeveloped riverbank along the Saco River, and habitat for inland wading birds as well as beavers, moose, and deer. Speaking on behalf of the family, Laura Burt said of the donation, "We are delighted with USVLT's plans for the property, the legacy of Howard and Penny Burt. They truly enjoyed their last 20 summers in Maine, where Howard loved wandering the woods and Penny thoroughly adored the Fryeburg Fair.”

Public access is available at all of USVLT’s preserves including the new Menotomy Preserve. USVLT is planning to build a welcoming trailhead and parking area here.

The new Menotomy Field Conservation Easement is adjacent to the Menotomy Preserve. This easement was a part of the Burt Family’s conservation strategy to protect these special places.

Mountainside Farm Conservation Easement, Bartlett, NH

The Mountainside Farm Conservation Easement was generously donated to USVLT in 2022 by the Lloyd Family in honor of their father, Lewis Lloyd. This easement protects cold-water streams that drain into the East Branch of the Saco River, vital forest soils, and 128 acres of woodlands (hemlock-hardwood-pine forest and northern hardwood-pine forest). Together with the Dundee Community Forest project that is expected to close in 2023, this easement contributes to the formation of a conservation block of more than 900 acres of unfragmented wildlife corridor. Public access is not permitted on this property, as the goals of the easement are focused on protection of land and habitat, and not recreation or other human uses.

Windy Hill Farm Conservation Easement, Jackson, NH

The Windy Hill Farm conservation easement protects a 108-acre historic farm that sits in the shadow of the White Mountain National Forest and abuts the Dundee Community Forest. This easement permits ongoing use of the farm’s forests and fields for agriculture, as well as expands a natural area that hosts wide-ranging wildlife movement and vital songbird habitat. The easement also allows for winter recreation; public access to the ski trails at Windy Hill Farm is limited to ticket holders of Jackson Ski Touring Foundation.