New Hampshire

Potential Wapack Wilderness Expansion

A hiker looks out over Binney Pond toward the land Northeast Wilderness Trust is working to purchase and protect as forever wild.

A hiker looks out over Binney Pond toward the land Northeast Wilderness Trust is aiming to purchase and protect.

UPDATE: As of February 2016, Northeast Wilderness Trust has signed an option agreement to purchase the whole of the acreage. If Northeast Wilderness Trust can raise the funds necessary to purchase this land, it will prevent subdivision of the property into small development lots while allowing the forest to recover and protecting wetlands and wildlife habitat as forever wild.

The Binney Hill Project is an opportunity to bridge a critical gap in southern New Hampshire. By purchasing and protecting the Binney Hill parcels, Northeast Wilderness Trust would establish connectivity for wildlife and people in this region. The lands are directly adjacent to the Binney Pond Natural Area and Ashburnham State Forest, and would connect our own Wapack Wilderness with the protected areas surrounding Mount Watatic in Massachusetts.

The successful protection of the available 485 acres on Binney Hill will protect over a mile of the Wapack Trail, and will fill the missing link in a forest block that would become a 2,235-acre swath of conserved land straddling the New Hampshire/ Massachusetts border. However, as the result of a recent court battle between the current landowner and the Town of New Ipswich, this land is threatened by subdivision. The landowner now has the right to upgrade a road and to subdivide the property into smaller development lots. The seller is actively marketing the land in those smaller lot configurations, but has welcomed an offer from Northeast Wilderness Trust to purchase the whole of the acreage.

Community support from the conservation commission, Friends of the Wapack (a volunteer group dedicated to preserving the Wapack Trail), and from private citizens has already produced pledges of over $100,000 for the Binney Hill project. We estimate that the full project budget, including the cost of land, transaction costs, institutional support, and long-term stewardship, will total $924,000. Your support will help Northeast Wilderness Trust to aim for closing on the purchase of this land in 2016.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact .
If you would like to support this project, please contact or . Or call our office at 802-224-1000.

 

 

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