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Lakes Region Conservation Trust very close to goal to secure 192-acre parcel in Center Harbor

CENTER HARBOR — The Lakes Region Conservation Trust, working in partnership with the Town of Center Harbor, has the opportunity to conserve a 192-acre ecologically significant parcel — and its ecological, wildlife habitat, scenic, water quality, and recreational values — in perpetuity, and is asking for help from the public.

The total necessary to conserve the parcel is $211,500, which includes funds for the acquisition as well as transaction fees, survey costs and money to be set aside for stewardship.

LRCT is very close to raising all the funds needed by the December 2 deadline to complete the project. People from the community and throughout the Lakes Region, the Town of Center Harbor, and the Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services have already contributed generously toward this conservation effort. With just a week to go, we need your support to successfully complete fundraising for this key property.

The property is located within Center Harbor's largest undeveloped forest and wildlife habitat block, north of Lake Waukewan, east of Lake Winona, and south of Hawkins Pond. This property is part of one of the highest priority areas for conservation based on ecological characteristics in Center Harbor, as identified in the Natural Resources Inventory completed by ecologist Dr. Rick Van de Poll for the town in 2011.

The Fogg Hill property encompasses important natural resources, including the town's only kettle hole bog and significant surrounding wetlands. This area, known as the Fogg Hill Bog Wetland Complex, was designated as a prime wetland by the Town of Center Harbor earlier this year. The land also contains old growth forest and valuable wildlife habitat.

The property also includes one of the highest elevations in town, providing views to the Sandwich Range. It is an important element of the scenic landscape of the area, visible from vantage points in Center Harbor, Meredith, Ashland, and New Hampton.

The Fogg Hill property contributes to water quality protection in the surrounding watershed and its water bodies, including Hawkins Pond, the Snake River, Winona Lake, and Lake Waukewan, which serves as the Town of Meredith's water supply.

The forest cover on parcels such as the Fogg Hill property plays a critical role in maintaining the quality of this water supply.

The Fogg Hill property is also an important recreational and educational resource for the community and the region. Once conserved, the land will be open to the public for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, with the potential for trails to be established around the wetlands and to the summit of Fogg Hill for enjoyment by all. In addition, the property affords extensive opportunities for nature education and scientific research.

Each and every donation will help us successfully complete this project by the December 2 deadline. Donations may be made online (www.lrct.org), by phone (603-253-3301), by mail (LRCT, PO Box 766, Center Harbor, NH, 03226), or in person at LRCT's headquarters at 156 Dane Road (Route 25B) in Center Harbor.

 
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