74 acres of forest protected along Merrimack River

  • The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced an addition of nearly 74 acres to the Stillhouse Forest Reservation. Courtesy

  • The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced an addition of nearly 74 acres to the Stillhouse Forest Reservation along the Merrimack River in Canterbury and Northfield vjanfleet—Courtesy

Published: 1/17/2022 3:58:57 PM

About a quarter mile of forested shoreline along the Merrimack River will be protected from development and added to the Stillhouse Forest conservation area in Canterbury and Northfield.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests raised $300,000 from a combination of grant sources and more than 100 individual donors to add 74 new acres to the protected forest along the river.

“Increasing conserved land in the Merrimack River Watershed is a top priority of the Forest Society’s land protection and outreach programs,” the group said. 

The new land adds 1,200 feet of undeveloped frontage along the Merrimack River, over two miles of intermittent streams, and eight acres of wetlands directly abutting the 215-acre Stillhouse Forest. 

In 2010, the U.S. Forest Service report identified the Merrimack River as one of the most threatened watersheds in the nation for the potential loss of private forestland. Following the report, the Forest Society and over 23 other groups and state agencies formed the Merrimack Conservation Partnership.

“The Merrimack River’s dire designation in 2010 as a watershed at risk made it abundantly clear that the development of forestland in the watershed is a danger to the river’s water quality and quantity,” states Jack Savage, president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the Merrimack River for their drinking water. We’re proud that the Stillhouse Forest addition represents the 12th project in a series of projects that protect shoreline along the river.”

The Forest Society currently holds more than 750 conservation easements statewide that permanently protect more than 135,000 acres. The Forest Society also owns 191 forest reservations constituting more than 58,000 acres in 105 New Hampshire communities.




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