NHDES Awards Wetlands Protection Grants
“$694,900 provided to nine projects
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Program has awarded funding from the Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund for nine projects totaling $694,900.
The NHDES ARM Fund, established by law, is a mitigation option for certain projects impacting wetlands and not able to provide other forms of mitigation. An ARM Fund Site Selection Committee is charged with identifying proposals to be funded by selecting high priority projects that most effectively compensate for the loss of functions and values from the projects that paid into the Fund. According to the law, the projects determined to be appropriate for receipt of ARM Fund monies are subject to approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NH Wetlands Council.
Projects receiving funds include:
- Saco River Service Area:
$46,000 for the Green Hills Conservation Project in Conway. The project will permanently protect the 1,014 acre property in Conway, including its approximately 56 acres of high quality, headwater wetlands and on-site adjacent uplands. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been concentrating land protection efforts in this area and this tract will be added to its 3,500 acre Green Hills Preserve. The Green Hills Conservation Project will link the Green Hills Preserve and 2,760 acres of other connected conservation land to the north and west with an additional, currently unconnected, 240 acres to the east, creating a 6,500 acre block of conserved land. The property includes virtually the entire Mason Brook watershed which flows into an important aquifer recharge area along the Saco River just south of the property, helping to maintain water quality in many downstream private and commercial wells.
- Pemigewasset-Winnipesaukee River Service Area:
$175,000 for the protection of the Frazian Property in Hebron. The Society for the Protection of NH Forests will utilize the funds to purchase a conservation easement on approximately 197 acres of land located near the north end of Newfound Lake. The property includes over 32 acres of wetlands, 770 feet of undeveloped shoreline along the Cockermouth River, and two small brooks which all drain to Newfound Lake. Almost all of the property is within Tier One, Highest Ranked Habitat in NH, as identified by the NH Fish and Game Wildlife Action Plan.
- $98,500 for the protection of the Fogg Hill Bog Property in Center Harbor with funds to assist acquisition and some limited trash removal and trail relocation work. The property will be owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and an easement to be held by the Town of Center Harbor. The land conservation project conserves 192 acres in Center Harbor which is a prime wetland and the only kettle hole bog in Center Harbor.
- Salmon Falls to Piscataqua River Service Area:
$75,000 for the protection of the Huppe property in Farmington. The Strafford Rivers Conservancy will permanently protect 96 acres of land, and establish a 200 foot no-cut buffer around the wetland and the portion of Berry Brook that flows through the land. The project will include a conservation easement to be held by the Strafford Rivers Conservancy. The project will protect land within the City of Rochester Water Supply Protection Area for Rochester Reservoir.
- $100,000 for the protection of the Calef Isinglass River Property in Barrington. Working in partnership with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Town of Barrington seeks to acquire a 270 +/- acre property currently owned by the A. Harlan Calef Revocable Trust. The primary goal of this project is to permanently conserve the property composed of forested wetlands, vernal pools, riparian habitat, and forested uplands.
- Merrimack River Service Area:
$65,400 for the McQuesten Pond Dam Removals in Manchester. The project involves stream passage improvement and associated wetland restoration at this site through the removal of two
dams in McQuesten Brook.The project area is of high value due to the presence of naturally reproducing Eastern brook trout that have been monitored over the years by NH Fish & Game Department.
- Contoocook River Service Area:
$15,000 for the protection of the Green Crow Property in Stoddard. This is a joint project between the Harris Center for Conservation Education and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to permanently protect approximately 361 acres of land on Rte. 9 in Stoddard.
- Middle Connecticut River Service Area:
$60,000 for the restoration of the floodplain within the Ammonoosuc River in Lisbon. The funds will be used to restore a 4 acre hayfield to a riparian forested buffer and to revegetate 1,500 linear feet of the Ammonoosuc River bank.
- $60,000 to the Upper Valley Land Trust for protection of the 50 acre parcel of land known as the Bailey-Clay Brook property in Lyme. The parcel contains 4.88 acres of wetlands west of Route 10, including 2,044 feet of a brook frontage, and 1.97 acres of wetlands within the portion of the property east of Route 10.
For more information on the NHDES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Program, visit the NHDES website at www.des.nh.gov and use the A to Z list to find the program page or contact NHDES Mitigation Coordinator, Lori Sommer, at [email protected] or (603) 271-4059.