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.
Year-End Report To Our Members
December, 2015 - As we enter the final days of 2015, we are writing our members and supporters to report on the Piscataquog Land Conservancy’s achievements over the past year, and to ask for your continued support with a year-end gift to PLC’s Conservation Fund. We are happy to report that 2015 proved to be a very productive and successful one for PLC. Here are the highlights:
We launched new land conservation projects. Our top organizational priority for 2015 was to build a portfolio of quality land conservation projects, and by mid-year PLC had six land and easement transactions totaling more than 500 acres on the path to completion. This includes two major land purchases: the 189-acre Rose Mountain project in Lyndeborough that will close by the end of this month, and the 101-acre Black Brook project in Goffstown, which is slated to close in early 2016. A conservation easement on the 55-acre Salmen-Buehler town forest in Henniker was completed in July 2015. Three additional easements on 58 acres in Weare, 60 acres in Goffstown, and 41 acres in Francestown are all on track to close by early 2016. PLC is also ending this year with several exciting new land projects already firming up for 2016 and beyond. All in all, PLC is the busiest we have been in a decade!
We took care of our lands. Thanks to the dedication and effort of more than fifty volunteer property monitors, PLC will walk every one of our 101 properties by the end of this year. No major problems have arisen on any of our lands or easements, but PLC staff have fielded a number of lesser issues including boundary encroachments, minor dumping, and trespass by ATVs. PLC also continues to cover our easements under the Terrafirma insurance program, which, when combined with PLC’s stewardship fund, provides a deep well of financial resources to draw on if we ever have a major violation or other challenge that requires PLC to take legal action to defend an easement.
We expanded our outdoor events. PLC ramped up our program of public outings over the past year, hosting twenty-nine different trips that included naturalist-guided walks focused on topics such as mushroom identification, animal tracking, vernal pools, spring widlflowers, and birding. Other offerings included a full-moon snowshoe, a spring trout fishing clinic, tours of a timber harvest and a maple sugaring operation, cycling and paddling trips, and small group walks led by PLC co-founder and local trail expert Gordon Russell. Altogether, these outings were attended by more than 350 people, including many who were new to PLC. Every event was organized and led by our skilled and enthusiastic volunteers.
We committed to becoming an accredited land trust. After several years of preparation, PLC committed to proceeding with national Land Trust Accreditation, a program that independently verifies that land trusts are operating in accordance with national standards and practices set by the Land Trust Alliance (LTA). We will be going through the accreditation process in 2016.
We balanced our budget. While conservation is what we love, we still have to balance the books! PLC ended the fiscal year with a small operating surplus. This financial result was largely thanks to the generosity of our members. Contributions to PLC’s Conservation Fund, which supports our operations, were the highest they have ever been in the history of the organization.
All in all, 2015 was a banner year for the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, and none of it would have happened without the financial support of hundreds of people like YOU.
Please support PLC with a year-end gift. As we look ahead to a very busy 2016, we hope that you will give as generously as you can to support PLC with a tax-deductible year-end gift. PLC is achieving really remarkable things with a small staff and a very lean budget. Your support of PLC’s Conservation Fund is truly critical to our continued success.
On behalf of the Board and staff of the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, thank you for being part of your local conservation organization, and best wishes this holiday season.
Paul A. Doscher, Board Chair
Chris Wells, President/Executive Director
We Did It!
View From Rose Mountain Summit, Pat Nelson
December, 2015 -- PLC is pleased to announce that we have raised all the funds needed to complete our two biggest land conservation projects of 2015: the 189-acre Rose Mountain project in Lyndeborough and the 101-acre Black Brook project in Goffstown. As we had hoped, the final funding for both projects came from the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP. The program awarded $42,500 to the Rose Mountain project, and $25,000 to Black Brook. The LCHIP grants were formally announced by Governor Hassan at a press conference on December 15th in Concord. Read the full article in the PLC Winter Newsletter
Read the PLC Winter Newsletter
PLC's Winter 2015-16 newsletter is hot off the presses! Read it -- in full color -- here: PLC Winter Newsletter. Our winter issue is generously underwritten by Meadowsend Timberlands - thank you! To lean more about Meadowsend, visit www.mtlforests.com. The PLC newsletter is designed by Cindy Stave of Weber Stave Design. Visit Weber Stave at www.weberstave.com.
From My Corner...
By Chris Wells, President/Executive Director
“On a high and open night in the winter, all blazing with the laddered, climbing stars, it is not accidental that the branches of the trees should reach and gesture as they do, or that one's spine should tingle at the lineup of the constellations. We were both constructed to that end.”
- John Hay, The Immortal Wilderness
Last night, with the kids in bed and my wife dozing on the couch, I stepped out the back door to check in on the night sky. Walking down into the backyard and away from the house, the night was utterly still and silent. I looked up as my eyes adjusted to the dark. Orion rose above the dark treeline of pines and bare hardwoods, just beginning his nightly traverse of the southern sky. The last stars of summer hung over the horizon in the west. Every year there is a night like this, when the cold and quiet and the clockwork of the stars come together to confirm the arrival of winter. It is one of those moments that still, even after many years in New Hampshire, makes me grateful to live here. Standing in the winter silence, looking up at the blazing winter constellations in a sky dark enough to really see them is a simple but precious gift. We live in a place where we can still, by just walking out the back door, connect to the larger turning of nature, life and the seasons. At its heart, the mission of the Piscataquog Land Conservancy is to keep our corner of New Hampshire a place where this sense of connection will always be possible. This does not mean we can (or should) stop change or human progress. But it does mean that we place a value on living in, and caring for, a landscape that defines us as much as we define it. As a very busy year comes to a close, this is what comes back to me again as I stand in the cold and quiet under the winter stars. On behalf of the board and staff of PLC, thank you for being part of this organization in 2015, and good wishes to you and your family in the new year.
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Photo by Pat Nelson
December, 2015 -- PLC named Ben Haubrich of Francestown as its 2015 Volunteer of the Year at our annual meeting in October. Executive Director Chris Wells said “PLC is fortunate to have many amazing volunteers, so picking one as Volunteer of the Year is never easy; but when the PLC board discussed who should receive this year’s award, Ben’s incredible level of commitment and passion made the choice obvious.” Read the full story in the PLC Winter Newsletter.
Fish and Game Commission Pushes Ahead with Bobcat Season
Photo by Ben Haubrich
December, 2015 -- On December 9th, the NH Fish and Game Commission voted to direct the state’s Fish and Game Department to proceed with developing administrative rules for a hunting and trapping season for bobcats. Taking of bobcats has not been allowed in New Hampshire since 1989, when the season was closed due to a dwindling numbers of animals. The bobcat population has recovered in recent years, but disagreement remains on whether the population is large enough to sustain any level of hunting and trapping. Talk of a renewed season has also sparked a broader debate of whether hunting and trapping the animal is even necessary. Read the full story in the PLC Winter Newsletter.
PLC Expands Service Area to Souhegan and Nashua River Towns
See full size map here: PLC Expansion Towns
December 2015 -- At their November 2015 meeting the PLC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to amend the organization’s articles of incorporation to allow PLC to conserve properties beyond our traditional 12-town service area. Specifically, PLC is now authorized to work on land conservation projects in the following communities: Amherst, Brookline, Greenville, Hollis, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, New Ipswich, Temple, and Wilton. These communities encompass the watersheds of the Souhegan and Nashua Rivers in New Hampshire. Read the full story in the PLC Winter Newsletter.