$187,000 OSI Grant Boosts Mt. Major Project
awarded a grant to the Society for the
Protection of New Hampshire Forests, to support the “Everybody Hikes
Mt. Major” campaign to protect 950 acres in the Belknap Mountains, NH.
NH – October 17, 2013 – With less than two months until the purchase deadline, the
Open Space Institute has awarded a $187,000 grant to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, leaving the
Society and its partner, the Lakes Region
about $1 million to raise for their “Everybody Hikes
Mt. Major” campaign,
an effort to protect 950 acres in the Belknap Mountains.
The grant is part
of OSI’s $6 million “Resilient Landscapes Initiative,” which is funded with a lead grant from the
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The initiative helps land trusts and public
agencies from Maine to West Virginia target their conservation efforts toward
the places most likely to be resilient to a changing climate. Based on a body
of research conducted over more than a decade by The Nature Conservancy (TNC),
OSI has identified four regions that are “best bets” in an uncertain time.
Range, located southwest of Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, Gilford, Gilmanton and
Belmont, with its wealth of unfragmented forests and wetlands, is within one of
these high priority areas—the New Hampshire and Maine forests.
really highlights what we know and love about Mt. Major and the Belknap Range,”
said Jane Difley, Forest Society president/forester. “This is one of New
Hampshire’s very special places, not only valuable to people for hiking,
snowmobiling, hunting, fishing and skiing, but also valuable as habitat to a
broad range of animals and plants.”
hope OSI’s identification of the Belknaps as ecologically important from a
climate change perspective will encourage others to come forward and support
our efforts to permanently protect 950 acres of it in the Everybody Hikes Mt.
Major campaign,” said Don Berry, LRCT president.
Executive Vice President for Conservation Capital and Research Peter Howell
said, “Although scientists cannot predict precisely how and when the climate
will change nor just how species will respond to those changes, TNC’s research
suggest that it’s critical to conserve the most resilient places—lands with
varied topography, abundant wetlands and ones that are unfragmented by development
and roads. These resilient places allow wildlife to move and ecological
processes to continue.”
analysis shows that the Belknap Mountains contains several key characteristics
that will likely support a broad diversity of life, even as the climate warms.
The Belknaps contain many different land forms—from rocky slopes and steep
ravines to vernal pools and wetlands—that afford plants and animals many
options. With more habitats available, the chances are greater that wildlife
will be able to find refuge from temperature extremes. At over 30,000 acres,
the Belknaps are also large enough for animals such as bear, bobcat, snowshoe
hare and moose to access this diversity of habitats.
the OSI grant, The Forest Society and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust have
raised $762,000 of the $1.8 million needed by Dec. 1 to buy the four properties
in the Everybody Hikes Mt. Major campaign.
more information about the campaign, go to www.forestsociety.org. For more
information about the Resilient Landscapes Initiative, go to www.osiny.org/ResilientLandscape
Founded in 1901, the Society for the
Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest
non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and
businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests
by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. The organization owns
50,000 conserved acres of land in New Hampshire and holds conservation
easements on another 115,000 acres.