Monadnock Community Conservation Partnership

Project #: 15687  –   Updated: July 11, 2013

Project Summary

This project provides community-based conservation planning and education that integrates and disseminates New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan objectives, data, and priorities at the critical town scale. More than a century of land conservation experience in New Hampshire demonstrates that the most successful conservation efforts are those initiated and managed at the community level. Local communities overwhelmingly support land conservation, but only when they feel that their unique values and voices have been heard. Top-down regulation and planning are often resented, and conservation eff...

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Location (by county):
Cheshire County (NH), Hillsborough County (NH)

Watersheds:
Miller, Upper Connecticut-Mascoma, Middle Connecticut, Contoocook, Merrimack

Congressional Districts:
NH District 02

Bird Conservation Regions:
Atlantic Northern Forest

USFWS Regions:
Northeast Region

Project size:
141.0 acres

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Town of Gilsum Land Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
City of Keene Natural Resource Inventory; Conservation Planning in process Yes
Warren Brook Easement Yes
Prentice Hill Easment Yes
Walpole Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
Town of Alstead Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
Town of Dublin Conservation Parcel Analysis Yes
Town of Fitzwilliam Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
Town of Troy Natural Resource Inventory (Moosewood Ecological) Yes
Town of Chesterfield Natural Resource Inventory (Moosewood Ecological) Yes
Town of Marlow Conservation Planning (Moosewood Ecological) Yes
Lake Warren Frontage Easement 1 Yes
Town of Swanzey Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
Town of Sharon Conservation Plan adopted and implementing Yes
Jaffrey - Shattuck Farm Easement Yes
Silver Lake Land Trust - NRI and Cons Plan Yes
Town of Harrisville - NRI and Cons PLan Yes
Greenfield - Carbee easement Yes
Walpole - Great Brook Farm easement Yes
Town of Francestown - NRI and Cons Plan Yes
Town of Westmoreland Conservatin Plan Yes
Town of Surry Natural Resources Inventory; Conservation Planning Fall 2013 Yes

Full Project Description

This project provides community-based conservation planning and education that integrates and disseminates New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan objectives, data, and priorities at the critical town scale. More than a century of land conservation experience in New Hampshire demonstrates that the most successful conservation efforts are those initiated and managed at the community level. Local communities overwhelmingly support land conservation, but only when they feel that their unique values and voices have been heard. Top-down regulation and planning are often resented, and conservation efforts that lack local buy-in and “ownership” are often divisive and disadvantageous to subsequent efforts.

The overall goal of this project is to increase the pace of high-quality natural resource and wildlife habitat conservation in the 35-town Monadnock Region of southwestern NH. This will be accomplished by providing assistance and training to towns in building the social and financial capacity to identify and protect lands of natural resource and wildlife habitat significance.

Project Assistance & Partnership Opportunities

Funding

Our project provides conservation planning assistance services to towns on a subsidized fee for service basis. Even with the subsidized rate, many of the towns we work with look to outside funders to match the limited town funds they have available to contribute to their planning project. Community grant needs are typically in the range of $4,000 to $5,000.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
To increase the pace and quality of wildlife habitat and natural resource conservation in the Monadnock Region by building the social and financial capacity of communities to identify and protect conservation priorities.
Climate Change Adaptation
For towns to consider wildlife climate adaptation needs in land use planning
Financial Incentive
For towns to raise conservation funds to be used to assist landowners with easement donation transaction costs (creating an incentive to donate) and to be used as matching funds for grants to purchase conservation fee acquisitions.
Regulation
To assist towns with revising local land use plans and regulations to discourage new development in areas with important conservation values and focus new development in places most appropriate to accommodate growth.

Consistent with plans:

Local Land Use Plan
This project seeks to build on and enhance local land use plans by developing locally informed wildlife action plan and natural resource inventory based conservation priorities and implementation strategies that are formally adopted as part of each town's master plan.
State Wildlife Action Plan
This project seeks to implement NHWAP strategies: Engage towns in conservation planning, mapping wildlife corridors and buffers, develop priorities and implementation strategies resulting in conservation of key habitat; educate and advise town boards and land owners re natural resources and wildlife habitats; engage in activities that will result in protecting land high-priority habitat types; develop financial incentives for land owners to maintain private land as open space.
Watershed Plan
This project seeks to integrate the Ashuelot River Management Plan and the Contoocook River Management plan with local conservation plans
Conservation Plan
This project seeks to integrate the Quabin to Cardigan regional conservation plan with local conservation planning
Federal Land Management Plan
This project seeks to integrate the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Planning with local conservation planning
Land Trust Strategic Conservation Plan
This project will augment and enhance the Monadnock Conservancy's Strategic Conservation Plan

Targeted Ecosystem Services:

  • Habitat/Biodiversity
  • Flood Risk Management
  • Endangered Species
  • Wetlands
  • Soil Conservation
  • Water Quality
  • Air Quality
  • Water Quantity
  • Aesthetic Values
  • Storm Water

Targeted habitats:

    • Aquatic
      • Lakes and Ponds
        • Open Water
      • Rivers and Streams
    • Forests and Woodlands
      • Mixed Hardwoods and Conifer
        • Acadian Low-Elevation Spruce-Fir-Hardwood Forest
        • Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest
    • Human Habitats
      • Agriculture
        • Agriculture - Pasture/Hay
        • Cultivated Crops
        • Old Field, Abandoned Cropland or Recent Clearcuts
        • Pasture / Hay
        • Recently Logged
      • Urban and Residential
        • Rural Residential (Low Intensity Developed)
        • Suburban Habitats (Moderate Intensity Developed)
        • Urban Habitats (High Intensity Developed)
    • Shrublands and Grasslands
      • Grasslands
    • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
      • Forested or Shrub Wetlands and Swamps
      • Lowland Riparian Forests and Shrublands
        • Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest
      • Marshes, Bogs and Emergent Wetlands
      • Montane Riparian Forests and Shrublands

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Develop a wildlife management plan Show/Hide details
Conservation easement Show/Hide details
Education Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
Public Service of New Hampshire (Public Utility) Show/Hide details
Monadnock Conservancy Capital Campaign (Private Individual) Show/Hide details
Various Community partners (Local Government) Show/Hide details
Davis Conservation Fund (Foundation) Show/Hide details
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Northeast Utilities Foundation (Public Utility) Show/Hide details
Jesse B. Cox Charitable Lead Trust (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Davis Conservation Fund (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Annonymous Family Foundation (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Various Community Partners: 2011 - 2012 (Local Government) Show/Hide details
Jessie B. Cox Charitiable Trust (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Technical Assistance
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details
Coordination with partners Show/Hide details
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details
In-Kind Contribution
Antioch University New England Show/Hide details
UNH Cooperative EXtension Show/Hide details
Town Volunteers Show/Hide details
Monadnock Conservancy Show/Hide details
HArris Center for Conservation Education Show/Hide details
Cheshire County Conservation District Show/Hide details
NH Department of Environmental Services Show/Hide details
NH Fish and Game Department Show/Hide details
Hillsborough County Conservation District Show/Hide details
Southwest Region Planning Commission Show/Hide details
Moosewood Ecological Services Show/Hide details
Society for Protection of NH Forests Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   Yes

Please describe your monitoring activity.

Periodic follow-up with towns that have completed conservation plans.
Providing assistance with on-going community outreach activities in towns.
Providing land-owner outreach support to town volunteers.
Assisting towns with conservation project fundraising.
Convene meetings of neighboring towns to provide forum for sharing conservation priorities, and sharing approaches and challenges for implementing conservation plan activities.

What lessons have been learned and/or what suggestions do you have for similar activities?

When developing capacity of community volunteers, it can take a long time to see tangible results. Progress is often a function of the local volunteers self-confidence and passion for talking with other people. The extent to which land conservation is misunderstood by the public is far greater than expected. It is critical to find ways to reach people who otherwise do not participate. This means going to them, finding out what they care about, what matters to them, and exchanging information with them about their communities natural resources, in a way that strengthens their sense of place. This becomes a foundation for building support for conservation activities.

What additional information would you like to share?

Accomplishments 2010 to 2013:

• Assisted two towns and a small all-volunteer land trust with natural resource inventory mapping projects (Francestown, Surry with assistance of Keen State College senior seminar, Silver Lake Land Trust)
• Partner organizations independently completed natural resource inventory projects in four towns (Chesterfield, Marlow, Troy, and Greenfield)
• Assisted five towns with conservation planning and implementation projects (Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Sharon, Francestown, Harrisville)
• Provided consultations with five towns (Friends of Keene Open Space, Jaffrey, Troy, Westmoreland, Chesterfield)
• Assisted five towns with specialized mapping and community outreach support (Sharon, Alstead, Westmoreland, Chesterfield, Francestown)
• Supported landowner outreach activities in six towns (Gilsum, Alstead, Fitzwilliam, Dublin, Francestown, Westmoreland)
• Supported three towns with efforts to prevent the elimination or reduction of municipal conservation funding (Walpole, Harrisville, Gilsum – 3 times)
• Provided transaction assistance for 59 town supported land conservation projects in 16 towns. Included in these:
• Assisted four towns with community fundraising for land conservation projects (Greenfield, Walpole, Jaffrey, Dublin)
• Assisted 21 conservation projects with accessing municipal funds from 10 towns to help cover transaction costs, stewardship donations or fee purchases.
• Assisted 8 towns with conserving town owned land.
• Grant writing assistance for community assistance projects (Fitzwilliam, Sharon, Francestown, Harrisville)
• Delivered five comprehensive conservation training programs reaching 98 participants from 29 of the regions 35 towns
• Delivered six natural resource workshops reaching 104 participants

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Organization

Monadnock Conservancy
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Ryan Owens  (Executive Director)
Monadnock Conservancy
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Partners

  • Antioch University New England Institute
  • Southwest Region Planning Commission
  • UNH Cooperative Extension
  • NH Fish and Game Department
  • NH Department of Environmental Services
  • Cheshire County Conservation District
  • Hillsborough County Conservation District
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Harris Center for Consersvation Education
  • Society for the Protection of NH Forests
  • New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • NH State Conservation Committee
  • Moosewood Ecological Services

Project Photos

Photos were not provided.