By News Release
Francestown — Francestown Land Trust, Inc., (FLT) founded in 1986, dedicated to protecting critical natural land areas in Francestown and nearby environs, has received a $75,000 grant award from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) to support its efforts to acquire approximately 120 acres on the west face of Crotched Mountain in Bennington.
The property rises up above 1800 feet near the height of land on Crotched Mountain. It is visible from several towns in the Monadnock region. The “Bennington Trail”, a popular hiking trail from Mountain Road to the summit of the mountain, is very close to the property.
This is the last large parcel of unprotected land on the mountain, and its acquisition will effectively complete the initiative to protect Crotched Mountain as started back in the late 1980’s. The property directly abuts over 2,000 acres of protected land area on the mountain in Bennington, Greenfield, and Francestown. Productive forestland, the property will continue to be managed for sustainable forestry. According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, approximately 67% of this property is identified as highest ranked wildlife habitat in the state, with an additional 25% identified as highest ranking wildlife habitat within the biological region. Moose, bear, deer, bobcat, turkey, fisher and numerous other species have been noted here. FLT will own the property, and will continue to keep it open to the public for traditional uses. For more information about this project and the Francestown Land Trust visit francestownlandtrust.org.
“We are very appreciative of LCHIP’s investment toward completing the Crotched Mountain project” said Scot Heath, FLT’s Project Manager. “The LCHIP award will enable the protection of this critical wildlife habitat.” In addition to the purchase price, there are numerous expenses such as a survey, appraisal fees, legal fees, professional fees, and property stewardship. Tax-deductible donations may be made to the Francestown Land Trust for the Crotched Mountain West project (donations are deductible for federal income tax purposes) via francestownlandtrust.org.
Grant decisions are made by the 18-member LCHIP Board of Directors, following a rigorous application and review process. “The LCHIP Board of Directors and staff have the responsibility and privilege of helping to protect natural, cultural, and historic resources across New Hampshire,’ observed LCHIP Board Chair Amanda Merrill, a former state senator and representative from Durham. She continued “It’s a pleasure to work with dedicated colleagues from non-profits, local government, and citizen groups to preserve the places that make our state special.”