The state has won a federal grant to fund a major land conservation deal near Cardigan Mountain.
The Forest Legacy Grant program gave the state $3.8 million dollars to put a conservation easement on the forest near Cardigan Mountain. 5,100 acres in the towns north of Newfound Lake will still be harvested for timber, but can now never be developed. The landowner – Green Acre Woodlands, which also owns anabutting property where Iberdrola developed the Groton Wind farm – will continue to hold the property, while the state will hold the conservation easement.
While Green Acre Woodlands will retain the right to log the property, the state will be able to look over its shoulder and make sure the forestry is being done sustainably.
Susan Francher, with the Division of Forests and Lands, says the federal grant program is aimed towards maintaining forests that are still producing timber. “It is really a working forest program, and so we really look for these projects that will maintain this economic benefit, this working forest benefit,” she explained.
The landowner says it will use the proceeds from the easement to purchase approximately 1,500 more acres, which would be maintained as working forests.
As part of the conservation deal, the land is required to be kept open to snowmobilers as well as other forms of recreation.