Merrimack Conservation Partnership Announces Grant Awards

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) announced the recipients of its first round of Land Conservation Grants for the fall of 2015, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect ecologically important Merrimack Valley Watershed region of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  In the fall 2015 round, the MCP Partnership awarded grants totaling $112,500 to nine projects that will conserve a total of approximately 1,073 acres of land.  The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $3.5 million.

In 2010, the Merrimack was identified by the US Forest Service as the most threatened watershed in the nation in terms of private forest land lost over the next 20 years. The two-state region of the Merrimack Watershed spans a total of 2.1 million acres and 3,275 square miles of which 54% is in NH and 46% in Massachusetts. The Merrimack River starts in Franklin, NH and flows through eight of NH’s largest cities. The river continues into Massachusetts to its mouth in Newburyport.

Launched in 2012, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership is a collaborative effort of more than twenty private organizations and public agencies working on land conservation in the Merrimack Valley Watershed. The partners share a vision of conserving (on a strictly willing-seller/donor basis) the region’s most ecologically significant forests, and key connections between them for wildlife passage and human recreation.

For the first time, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership is launching its Land Conservation Grants program, which underwrites transaction costs – appraisals, surveys, title research, staff time, etc. — on conservation transactions that protect land identified in the Merrimack Valley Regional Conservation Plan. Below is a list of the grant recipients:

Webjo Co. Inc. property, Berlin, MA

Sponsor:  Town of Berlin Conservation Commission

Acres Conserved:  72

Protection Method:  Fee Acquisition with Conservation Restrictions

MCP Grant Award: $14,500

Total Project Costs: $441,175

Leonhard Farm Conservation Restriction, North Andover/Boxford, MA

Sponsor:  Essex County Greenbelt Association, Inc.

Acres Conserved:  118

Protection Method:  Conservation Restriction

MCP Grant Award: $16,416

Total Project Costs: $1,034,633

Stonehurst Farm Project, Dunbarton, NH

Sponsor:  Five Rivers Conservation Trust

Acres Conserved:  235

Protection Method:  Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $20,000

Total Project Costs: $353,342

Clay Pond III, Hooksett, NH

Sponsor:  Town of Hooksett

Acres Conserved:  70

Protection Method:  Fee Acquisition with Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $15,150

Total Project Costs: $113,700

Finke Project, Goffstown, NH

Sponsor:  Piscataquog Land Conservancy

Acres Conserved:  60

Protection Method:  Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $13,875*

Total Project Costs: $78,500*

Rydstrom Forest, Northfield, NH

Sponsor:  Society for the Protection of NH Forests

Acres Conserved:  406

Protection Method:  Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $4,845

Total Project Costs: $96,460

Dufresne Project, Auburn, NH

Sponsor:  Southeast Land Trust of NH

Acres Conserved:  60

Protection Method:  Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $13,851

Total Project Costs: $539,100

Monahan Project, East Kingston, NH

Sponsor:  Southeast Land Trust of NH

Acres Conserved:  28

Protection Method:  Conservation Easement

MCP Grant Award: $7,279

Total Project Costs: $468,500

201 Prospect Street, Carlisle, MA

Sponsor:  Sudbury Valley Trustees

Acres Conserved:  28

Protection Method:  Conservation Restriction

MCP Grant Award: $8,584

Total Project Costs: $402,745

For more information about the MCP Partnership please contact Brian Hotz at (603) 224-9945 or bhotz@forestsociety.org.  Information is also available at http://merrimackconservationpartnership.org

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