Nearly 6,400 acres of forest north of Squam Lake preserved

April 11, 2022 GMT

LINCOLN, N.H. (AP) — Nearly 6,400 acres of forest and water resources just north of Squam Lake in central New Hampshire are now protected and will be managed as a working forest while ensuring public recreational access, the Conservation Fund and the state Division of Forests and Lands said Monday.

Situated at the confluence of the White Mountains, the New Hampshire-Vermont Uplands and the Coastal Lowlands, the now-conserved land encompasses 27% of the Beebe River watershed, supporting drinking water quality and aquatic habitat for wild brook trout, officials said.

The property shares a 6.5-mile (10.4-kilometer) boundary with the White Mountain National Forest. It links 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) of recreational trails to 150 miles (241.4 kilometers) of statewide trail systems and access to hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing and hiking.

The Conservation Fund bought the land in 2014 as part of 30,000 acres of former industrial timberland that was threatened by conversion and important for climate resilience across New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Maine, the fund said in a news release Monday.

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The fund partnered with the division to permanently protect these two adjacent properties, and a federal grant made permanent protection possible.

“The dream of walking from the shores of Squam Lake to the height of Mt. Washington on conserved land is now a reality,” said Roger Larochelle, executive director of the Squam Lakes Conservation Society.