Welcome!In 1969, a group of neighbors created the Piscataquog Watershed Association (PWA) to protect critical land along the Piscataquog River. Now the Piscataquog Land Conservancy (PLC), that legacy has grown to include nearly 6,000 acres on 100 conservation tracts.
A Season of Change at PLC
Carol Hess, Board Chair
This summer saw big transitions at PLC. As you may know, ourong time executive director, Paula Bellemore, left in July to work with the Land Conservation Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) in Concord, where she will use her considerable talents to support land conservation across the state.
Paula leaves behind a remarkable legacy of growth and success at PLC. Over the last 11 years she helped PLC grow not only in number of acres conserved (6,000 acres and 100 tracts of land), but also in our capacity to fulfill our legal and ethical commitment to monitor, care for, and defend the lands in our portfolio. Under Paula’s leadership, PLC’s land protection practices were brought into closer compliance with the Land Trust Alliance’s national standards, and we built a volunteer land stewardship program that is one of the largest and best regarded in the state.
Fortunately, the PLC board was able to hire a tremendously capable new executive director within weeks of Paula giving notice. Chris Wells comes to us with almost 20 years of experience in land conservation, including more than a decade at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. He brings strong skills in fundraising, communications, financial manage-
ment, and volunteer leadership.Chris also has extensive experience working with state and local government, and building conservation partnerships. He has a deep understanding of how important regional land trusts are to conserving the larger whole. Chris lives with his wife and two sons in Wilmot, and you can expect him to become a fixture in our watershed in the years ahead.
This summer saw other staff changes at PLC. In July we welcomed Tom Jones as our new full-time land protec-tion specialist (see page 3). In August we also bid a fond farewell to Alex Metzger, our stewardship specialist, as he headed off to pursue his PhD. Alex’s stewardship role is being taken on by Chris Borg, whom many of you already know as our interim land protection specialist.
With a strong new team in place, this is a truly exciting time for PLC. For the past three months we have been working to develop a science-based conservation plan that will guide PLC’s land conservation work in the years ahead (see page 6). The planning process has already con-firmed that there are significant undeveloped areas in our watershed that provide critical wildlife habitat, protection for surface and ground water, and high quality soils for farming and forestry. The new conservation plan will be completed this fall, and PLC’s staff and land protection committee will use it to identify and proactively protect the most significant parcels.
PLC is lucky to have talented staff, excellent leadership, and a mission that has never been more critical. But the true heart and soul of PLC is you, our members, volunteers, and donors. As summer turns to fall, there are opportunities large and small for you to help conserve the land we love. To find out how, contact me at email@example.com.
Carol Hess is Chair of PLC’s Board of Directors
How we protect land:
PLC employs two primary methods of land conservation: If the landowner wishes to retain ownership of the land a "conservation easement" can be used. If not, land may be gifted to the PLC for conservation use and management. In either circumstance, gifts of land or easements may be made during the landowner’s lifetime or through a will.
Photo by Pat Nelson.
E-News Sign Up
Keep up with what's going on at the PLC by joining our short and sweet e-newsletter sent to your inbox about once a month or so.