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OSI’s Support Leads to Creation of New England’s Newest Community Forest Project

CONWAY, NH (Aug. 11, 2018) – Land owned by a local family for more than 100 years is now protected as a community forest that is permanently in the hands of this rural New Hampshire town, thanks in part to a grant from the Open Space Institute’s (OSI) Community Forest Fund to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust.

Located adjacent to the local high school, the 460-acre Pine Hill Community Forest contains more than 125 acres of wetlands, nearly a mile of frontage on the Saco River, and 2,600 feet of scenic, undeveloped frontage on local NH Route 16 and US Route 302.

“Conway citizens and Upper Saco Valley Land Trust have shown great foresight in forever conserving this outstanding community asset. By working together, they will see so many benefits from this land and from their partnership,” said Jennifer Melville, vice president for conservation grants for OSI. OSI’s Community Forest Fund supports the creation and expansion of community forests in Northern New England.

Community benefits provided by the Pine Hill Community Forest will include public access for hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing, as well as environmental benefits such as protection of wildlife habitat and surface and ground water.

While permanently protected from development, Pine Hill’s forests will continue to be sustainably managed.

The successful completion of the Pine Hill Community Forest Project would not have been possible without generous support from a broad range of sources. In addition to support from the Town of Conway, several private foundations and many individual contributions, the Pine Hill Community Forest Project received assistance from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program and from the sale of the conservation license plate (Moose Plate) through the NH State Conservation Committee grant program. 

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