Monadnock Conservancy  protects nearly 70 acres

The Monadnock Conservancy has announced an agreement to protect 69.9 acres of land in Greenfield owned by Sheldon and Beverly Carbee. According to the Conservancy, the Carbees wanted to conserve their land both as a way to honor their family’s roots in the community and to protect the ecological and scenic values of the land.

Sheldon Carbee’s parents purchased the property in 1936, and he and Beverly later owned a gift shop and bakery in town. For the size of the property, the Carbees’ holdings have a wide diversity of habitats and uses. The Carbees have seen moose, deer, turkeys, grouse and woodcock. The upper pastures are split between hayfields and an active Christmas tree farm while the bulk of the property is forested (and sustainably managed for timber) and extends down to Rand Brook. Rand Brook is a significant headwater tributary to the Piscataquog River, and protection of it greatly enhances the wetlands and groundwater of the entire watershed. A protective corridor along the stream limits timber harvesting and ensures that the stream is not degraded by future land uses. While the Carbee land is still privately owned, the family is supportive of traditional recreational activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting, and the land is open to limited pedestrian access with landowner permission.

The addition of the Carbee property increases the size of a contiguous block of protected land in this section of the Piscataquog River watershed to more than 1,050 acres. It underscores the collaborative efforts of a number of local and regional conservation groups, among them the Monadnock Conservancy, the Francestown Land Trust, the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, the Russell Piscataquog River Watershed Foundation and the conservation commissions of Greenfield, Francestown and Lyndeborough.

Significant fundraising was a hallmark of the project and includes a wide ranging effort from local neighbors to private foundations. The Orchard Foundation contributed $40,000 toward the purchase price of the conservation easement and the Russell Piscataquog River Watershed Foundation contributed $30,000. An anonymous family foundation, the Malt Family Foundation and the Timmons family also made key contributions toward the purchase price.

The Town of Greenfield, through its conservation commission, funded transaction costs.

The Monadnock Conservancy, founded in 1989, is an accredited land trust and the only one dedicated exclusively to the 35 towns in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. Its mission is to work with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands, rural character and scenic beauty of the region. Based in Keene, the Conservancy has protected 17,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat and recreation trails in the region.

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