Slavic Wildlife and Wilderness Sanctuary

Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Active ProjectRosalind and Fred Slavic

Rosalind and Fred Slavic have an enduring love for each other and for wild forests. Since the 1960s the Slavics have cared for 300 acres of beautiful, old forest in southern New Hampshire. As they approach the ends of their lives, Rosalind and Fred—both of whom are their nineties—want to make sure their land is protected in perpetuity. They have asked the Northeast Wilderness Trust to help them conserve a “Wildlife and Wilderness Sanctuary.” We are thrilled to do so.

The Slavics plan to donate the land to the Wilderness Trust so that we may convey it to the State of New Hampshire subject to a forever-wild easement. In this way, the Slavic Wilderness and Wildlife Sanctuary will become a permanent part of the Rhododendron State Park and provide enduring benefits—beauty, quiet, solitude—to the people of New Hampshire and the nation. We are working to raise over $100,000 for this project, including the cost of the long-term stewardship of the sanctuary. Helping the Slavics leave this living legacy is an enormous privilege.

Located in Fitzwilliam, NH, the property has streams, waterfalls, wetlands, beaver ponds, old stone walls, and beautiful ledges with stunning views to the east. Few live trees have been cut on the land since the Slavics took ownership, essentially only those needed to clear the precise footprints of the modest buildings constructed on the property—buildings the Wilderness Trust will remove before transferring the land to the state. Towering oaks, maples, beeches, yellow birches, hemlocks, and pines are abundant wherever one goes.

The property is bounded on two sides by the State of New Hampshire’s Rhododendron State Park. A third side is adjoined by permanently conserved forestland. A lightly used town road forms the fourth side of the largely rectangular parcel. A public hiking trail crosses the northwest corner of the property, and construction of another public foot trail is envisioned once the land is transferred to the state.

The Slavics have lived simply on this land since the 1960s, when they left a successful publishing business in New York City for the “good life.” Fred and Rosalind cherish this place, still live there comfortably and independently, and hope to remain there for many more years. In the meantime, the Wilderness Trust is working with them to ensure the land will be perpetually cared for in the manner they wish, and to raise the funds needed to cover the costs of removing the buildings, restoring the site to natural conditions, and paying for the transaction and long-term stewardship.

Please let us know if you would like more information or would like to contribute to this project. Doing so will enable you to join Rosalind and Fred Slavic in making this extraordinary gift to wild nature and future generations.

UPDATE: Fred Slavic passed away on October 6, 2013.  Read his obituary. Rosalind is doing well and has moved to a senior living community in Keene, NH.

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