Let’s go for Frye conservation
When I go shopping, I like to take a list. It keeps me focused and I don’t buy things I can’t use. So, when I heard the town of Wilton had an opportunity to buy into protecting a big piece of open land, I started making a list of what I would want that purchase to include, if I were buying.
A conservation easement doesn’t mean you get the deed to the land, but in this case the town would get nearly all the benefits of ownership and none of the chores like mowing the fields, insurance, maintenance, oversight, and so forth.
So my list just includes the benefits the town of Wilton would receive from an easement on two beautiful parcels of open lands consisting of 160 acres.
∎ Eighty-eight acres of federally designated important farmland soils. Check.
∎ Eight hundred feet along the Souhegan River (a designated/protected river under NHRSA 483) — I hear there are actually salmon in it. Check.
∎ Right of way and access for the Winter Wanders Snowmobile Club for Corridor 13 of the New Hampshire snowmobile system. Check.
∎ Protection of four out of seven of Wilton’s water well heads, plus protection for aquifers and surface waters. Check.
∎ Preservation of historic farmland held by one Wilton family for seven generations. Check.
∎ Protecting these two parcels, when added to an existing protected 80 acres would bring the total of high ranking land protected to 240 acres. Check.
∎ Wilton’s Master Plan, trail plans and Natural Resource Inventory all recommend protection of this kind of valuable farmland. Check.
∎ Town of Wilton’s National Resource Inventory gives highest ranking to these parcels. Check.
∎ Promotion of local agriculture in furtherance of increased regional interest. Check.
∎ Trails for public hiking and picnicking (Wilton likes trails). Check.
∎ Opportunities for students and children for agricultural, forest, wildlife and other educational experiences. Check.
∎ Unlike many municipal purchases, this would be a onetime only purchase; no depreciation; no costly repairs; no expensive replacement in a few years. Check.
∎ Taxes will continue to be paid to town of Wilton. Check.
All of these rights, activities and interests will be protected forever by an easement deed recorded at Hillsborough Registry of Deeds. Check.
∎ And to top it off it is the best view for miles around with parking nearby. Check.
Price: $1,635.000. Wow — but wait — Wilton only has to contribute $80,000.
Just this once. Less than 5 percent of that total. It’s $50 per person. This time only.
This wonderful land will never depreciate; it will only become more valuable every year into the future. A continuing amenity and asset for the people of Wilton. It’s a bargain. I would buy it!
Camilla Lockwood lives in Temple.