NEFF’s 2018-2019 Conservation Accomplishments

Nov. 06, 2019
Mushroom on forest floor

Read highlights from conservation projects completed by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019—NEFF’s fiscal year.

Reynolds Family Forest

Cooper, ME | 1,160 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired June 14, 2018

Acquisition of this tract protects high-quality, productive forestland and valuable wildlife habitat along the Dennys River, one of seven rivers used by Atlantic Salmon in Maine and a long-standing focus area for conservation. There is approximately one mile of frontage on the main stream of the Dennys River, and approximately four miles of the tributary Dead Stream flows through the forest. The property also has an open bog and a significant deer wintering area in a part of Maine where deer are scarce. Previously owned and managed by a timber company, Reynolds’ most recent harvest occurred in 2014–2015. The forest shows good regeneration of white pine and other valuable species, and NEFF will not conduct harvests for a number of years to allow these trees to mature. Learn more.

Jack’s Brook Forest

Erving, MA | 85 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired June 1, 2018

This 85-acre hillside woodlot contains exceptional-quality timber. Its last harvest occurred 20–25 years prior to NEFF’s purchase, and the forest is comprised mainly of red oak, white pine and hemlock in mixed sizes and age classes. There is no road frontage, but NEFF holds a right of way for forest management and future public access. Jack’s Brook forms the eastern property boundary, and flows into the Millers River about a mile downstream.

Conley Addition to Deland Memorial Forest

New Boston, NH | 20 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired December 1, 2018

Patrick Conley, the owner of a 20-acre woodlot that abuts NEFF’s Deland Memorial Forest, contacted the New Boston conservation commission about donating the property to the town. The conservation commission subsequently contacted NEFF to ask about the steps required to make such a gift. The ensuing discussion led to a suggestion that since NEFF’s forest virtually surrounded the Conley tract, perhaps a donation to NEFF would make more sense since the land would be protected and the town would not have to spend resources on managing it. Both the commission and Mr. Conley agreed with the suggestion, and Deland Memorial Forest has now grown from 883 to 903 acres.

Iadarola Addition to Mixter Nields Memorial Forest

Hardwick, MA | 24 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired December 1, 2018

NEFF purchased an inholding within our Mixter Nields Memorial Forest from Mr. Iadarola to streamline forest management and harvesting practices.

True Farm Living Forest Addition

Mechanic Falls, ME | 25 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired January 1, 2019

NEFF staff was contacted by one of our contract foresters regarding a lot adjacent to NEFF’s True Farm Living Forest; the lot’s owner was interested in selling, and NEFF proceeded with the purchase to expand the existing 150-acre True Farm Forest, which has been managed by NEFF since 1971 and supports a well-stocked white pine forest, with lesser amounts of hardwood.

Poitras I, II & IV

Holliston, MA | 185 Acres | Conservation Easement | Acquired April 22, 2019

NEFF now holds conservation restrictions on three land parcels owned by Jim and Pat Poitras; the couple plans to donate this land to Mass Audubon through their estates, and NEFF will continue to hold the restrictions when Mass Audubon turns the parcels into a public sanctuary that promotes native wildlife habitat. The properties form a protected and largely forested corridor of land in a heavily suburban town, are adjacent to additional town conservation lands, and are located near Mass Audubon’s Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary.

Milford Town Forests

Milford, NH | 646 Acres | Conservation Easement | Acquired April 23, 2019

The Town of Milford has chosen to permanently protect two of its existing town forests by donating a conservation easement to NEFF. The Hitchiner Town Forest is 194 acres and the Mile Slip Town Forest is 452 acres. Both properties are managed primarily for recreation, timber, and educational programs. The Hitchiner Town Forest is currently managed under a 2008 Forest Management Plan completed by New England Forestry Consultants, and the Mile Slip Town Forest is currently managed under a 2014 Forest Management Plan completed by Bay State Forestry. Both properties are completely forested with the exception of 12 acres of fields on the Hitchiner Town Forest. The town has recently conducted harvests, including harvests to generate early successional habitats.

Richard Williams Memorial Forest

Hancock, NH | 272 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired April 30, 2019

This woodlot came to NEFF through a gift annuity from longtime NEFF supporter Barbara Campbell. Twenty-five years before making this gift, Mrs. Campbell donated conservation easements on the land to NEFF. Ultimately, she wished for NEFF to own the property outright in order to continue the legacy of Exemplary Forest management she established over more than 40 years of ownership. The woodlots have high-quality forest soils that are growing fine stands of red oak and white pine, and include a substantial sugarbush leased to an abutter.

Christian Stroop Memorial Forest

Grafton, NH | 75 Acres | Community Forest | Acquired June 4, 2019

Christian Stroop generously bequeathed the historic Peter Bullock House and its surrounding forestlands to NEFF upon his death. In keeping with Christian’s wishes, the sale of the house will fund further conservation, while NEFF will retain the land as a Community Forest and “manage and preserve it consistent with NEFF’s organizational objectives and mission,” as Christian put it in a letter explaining his wishes for the land. The forest has a mix of white pine, hemlock, and hardwoods, and the trees display good growth and are generally straight and fairly tall. The property provides beautiful views of Mount Cardigan. In spring 2020, NEFF will install and dedicate a hand-crafted bench to Christian’s memory in a setting that offers visitors an opportunity to take in that view.

Photo of mushroom at Reynolds Family Forest (top) by Lauren Owens Lambert.