Maidstone Bends

Open Space Institute Supports Addition to New Hampshire Preserve for Forest Carbon

Image Credit: Jeff Lougee/The Nature Conservancy

GROVETON, NH (Aug. 14, 2023) – The Open Space Institute (OSI) and The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire (TNC) have announced the permanent protection of 870 acres in northern New Hampshire. Conservation of the land will help safeguard important regional drinking water resources while securing land for forest carbon storage.

Located in New Hampshire’s Northern Forest region, the project more than doubles the size of TNC’s Maidstone Bends Preserve, which will now stand at 1,250 acres. Conservation of the land protects an important public drinking water source for Northumberland, New Hampshire, while re-establishing forested buffers across more than six miles of riverbanks draining into the Connecticut River.

OSI supported the project through its Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, which catalyzes land protection along the Appalachian Mountain range — an area that is home to the world’s largest broadleaf forest, stores most of the nation’s forest carbon, and provides essential refuge for plants and animals at risk of habitat loss from climate change. The Fund is capitalized with major support by the Doris Duke Foundation, and additional funding from other private foundations.

“The successful expansion of the Maidstone Bends Preserve is a resounding achievement toward the Open Space Institute’s long-term goals to protect the Appalachian’s fragile forests and wildlife in the face of a changing climate,” said Joel Houser, OSI’s Director of Capital Grants. “We thank The Nature Conservancy for their partnership and tireless efforts to secure these lands, forever.”

Beyond protecting drinking water and sequestering atmospheric carbon, the property provides a critical stopover for more than 35 migratory bird species, and supports habitat connectivity for wood turtles, bears, and more.

In addition to OSI’s Fund, financial support was also provided by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, The New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust, and many generous private donors.

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