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Campaign to preserve Mount Major reaches goal

CONCORD — Nearly 2,000 fans of Mount Major donated to a fundraising campaign to buy land on and near the popular hiking destination, lifting the campaign to its $1.8 million goal.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition have successfully raised the money needed to purchase and protect four key properties — 980 acres — on Mont Major and other parts of the Belknap Range,  southwest of Lake Winnipesaukee. The Everybody Hikes Mount Major campaign has resulted in the purchase of three separate properties on Mount Major, East Quarry and Piper mountains, all in Alton and Gilford. The acquisition of a fourth tract, near the Mount Major trailhead, is in the final stages.

The campaign received more than 1,900 gifts ranging from $2 to $340,000. Gifts came in from 31 states, from as far away as Hawaii, Arizona and Oregon. More than 25 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to provide campaign information to hikers and to collect contributions at the Mt. Major trailhead.

"People have been telling us throughout this campaign how much they love hiking in the Belknaps, especially to the top of Mt. Major, and seeing the spectacular view of Lake Winnipesaukee," said Jane Difley, Forest Society president and forester. "We are grateful to all of the donors and volunteers who made it possible for us and our partners to help to preserve access for hikers as well as to conserve the forests, wetlands and streams on these properties -- for people and for wildlife."

"The Belknap Range, and particularly Mt. Major, has long been a treasured natural, recreational, and scenic resource enjoyed year-round by Lakes Region residents and visitors alike," said Don Berry, LRCT president. "We greatly appreciate the hard work and generosity of everyone involved in this project, which have made possible the protection of these key parcels and their important trails and natural resources, and which lay the foundation for future conservation successes in the Belknap Range."

Many foundations and government agencies supported the campaign. The Steinwachs Family Foundation provided a leadership gift, and a new trailhead on the Quarry Mountain parcel will be named in the family's honor. Other funders include the N.H. Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the towns of Alton and Gilford, the Open Space Institute Land Trust Inc.'s Resilient Landscapes Initiative, made possible by a lead grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Bafflin Foundation, the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, Paul and Sandra Montrone, three anonymous family foundations, the N.H. State Conservation Committee's "Moose Plate" Program, the N.H. Electric Co-op Foundation, NHCF Wolfeboro Fund, Samuel P. Pardoe Foundation, the William Wharton Trust, and Bank of New Hampshire.

"Mt. Major and the Belknaps make up a beloved landscape – the backdrop of Lake Winnipesaukee -- and we are excited to be working in partnership with the Lakes Region conservation community to protect it," Difley said.

"The Belknaps, along with the Ossipee Mountains and Red Hill, form the natural setting for Lake Winnipesaukee. Protecting these uplands has been an important priority for many years," Berry said.

The popularity of Mount Major's trails has left them degraded by overuse, so the Forest Society has formed a stewardship fund to repair and maintain them. Anyone wishing to help can find more information at www.forestsocety.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 12:17

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Boys & Girls Club craft fair is on Nov. 15

LACONIA — The 2nd annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale to be held by the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region will take place on Saturday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The fair will feature several local artists and crafters from the Lakes Region and beyond, as well as items crafted and baked by local Club Members. The fair also acts as a fundraiser to support Club programming, as staff work to build new opportunities for youth and provide affordable memberships to families in need of after-school activities.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region moved to their permanent home in the former St. James Episcopal Church building on North Main Street in June 2013, where they serve school-aged youth in Kindergarten through Twelfth grade. As a leading advocate for youth, they are committed to ensuring that every child has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on the right path. This will be the first year that the craft fair will be held in their new home following last year's vandalism, which caused major structural damage to the facility, relocation of the craft fair, and displaced programming for several weeks.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 10:52

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Greater Meredith Program installs new board members

MEREDITH — The Greater Meredith Program recently elected Bob Manley and Steve Durand to its Board of Directors.

A graduate of the California Institute of Arts, Bob Manley, worked in human services as the residential director at Lakes Region Community Services. From 2000 to 2010 he pursued new directions in antiques, photography and advertising. Since 2010 he has worked with his partners to grow Hermit Woods Winery from a small winery located in his home to the thriving business it is today located on 72 Main St. in Meredith. Manley and his wife reside in Meredith

Steve Durand, a Lakes Region native, attended Inter-Lakes High School and graduated from Laconia Academy in 1981. After attending NH Community Technical College, he worked in construction spending the last 16 years as a construction sales specialist at Waste Management. Active in the community, he has coached Meredith Youth Sports, served on the Meredith Zoning Board of Adjustment and is a member of the Meredith Fire Department. He is a member of the Wicwas Lake Grange and is also an active member of Meredith's 250th Celebration Committee. Durand and his wife, Dawn, live in Meredith.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 10:48

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Discussion about Lakes Region Broadband Plan to take place at meeting on Nov. 17 in Wofleboro

MEREDITH — A discussion on the draft of the Lakes Region Broadband Plan will take place on Monday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library, 259 South Main St. in Wolfeboro.

The discussion will take place during the regular meeting of the Lakes Region Planning Commission.

The Lakes Region Broadband Plan is a local and regional planning initiative based on a statewide plan and approach from the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program (NHBMPP). The program is a comprehensive, multiyear initiative that began in 2010 with the goal of understanding where broadband is currently available in New Hampshire, how it can be made more widely available in the future, and how to encourage increased levels of broadband adoption and usage.

As technology is constantly changing and evolving, the Lakes Region Broadband Plan represents a “snapshot” in time and is likely relevant for no more than three years. The major emphasis of this plan is the recognition of the critical role that broadband and high speed Internet play in the long-
term economic well-being and prosperity of the region.

The draft Lakes Region Broadband Plan can be viewed on the LRPC website online at http://www.lakesrpc.org/Broadband/BbPlan101714FinalDraft.pdf.

All LRPC meetings are open to the public. For additional information or special accommodation, please contact the LRPC: 279-8171 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 10:43

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