2017 Goes Out with a Bang!

2017 Goes Out with a Bang!

Because of your gifts to SELT, the following special places are being permanently protected this winter – nearly 2,300 acres of land conserved for public recreation, wildlife habitat, clean water, and farmland for our future! Through conservation easements and land acquisitions, SELT works to protect the unique character of this place we call home. Thank you for supporting SELT and making all this possible.

Map_Projects_Winter20171. Stonehouse Forest, Barrington – SELT’s largest project ever! 1,500 acres of pristine forest adjacent to the popular Stonehouse Pond. This expansive landscape supports vibrant wildlife, free flowing streams, and miles of trails. This land will be owned by SELT, and permanently protected by a conservation easement held by the NH Fish & Game Department and the Town of Barrington. The easement will also guarantee public access for outdoor recreation. More than 360 generous donors have made gifts to help save this special place – THANK YOU! Other funders include the state’s LCHIP and Moose Plate programs, as well as the Town of Barrington.

2. Cafasso Donation, Barrington – John and Cindy Cafasso heard about the Stonehouse Forest project through Barrington’s public access television station and were excited about the project. When they started to think about what they could do to support the project, they realized they could donate their abutting 2.11 acre property along Swain Road to SELT that includes a portion of an important wetland system on the Stonehouse Forest project. The Cafassos saw the SELT booth at a local winter farmer’s market and pitched the idea. Fast forward to today – and soon after SELT owns Stonehouse Forest, we will receive this generous donation of land!

3. Gauthier’s Farm, Rochester – The Salmon Falls River was recently ranked the third most threatened watershed in the entire country due to projected increases in housing density. By conserving Gauthier’s Farm, SELT will permanently protect nearly 163 acres and more than 1.4 miles of precious shoreline along this river for the benefit of wildlife and people alike. Since 1966, Gauthier’s Farm has been welcoming guests with open arms, with a history of selling a variety of agricultural products from maple syrup, to meats and vegetables, to eggs, and even the local favorite: Stump City hard cider! A significant portion of the funding and support for this project came from the proactive efforts of the Rochester Conservation Commission and the Rochester City Council. Other partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and Jane’s Trust.

4. McGivern Donation, Rollinsford – Linda McGivern and Ben Thayer know that the 39 acres surrounding their home in Rollinsford is a special place. The many grassland bird species they see in their fields, the monarch butterflies they’ve been monitoring as part of a larger research network, and the waterfowl utilizing their ponds and wetlands all point to productive wildlife habitat. These are things you can see, but what you can’t see is the role their land plays in maintaining clean drinking water for the Town of Rollinsford, whose well head protection area encompasses much of their property. SELT is extremely appreciative of this generous conservation easement donation by Ben and Linda.

5. DeYoung-Fralic Conservation Area, Brentwood – With the help of the Brentwood Conservation Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), SELT completed another multi-year conservation project along the Exeter River. Thanks to a generous donation by John and Lois DeYoung, this sought-after property includes 105 acres of forests, wetlands, and high priority wildlife habitat and contains more than 3,700 feet of pristine river frontage. Now known as the DeYoung-Fralic Conservation Area, this property will be added to SELT’s growing list of reservations and will be available to the general public for outdoor recreation.

6. Bodwell Dairy Farm (Phase 2), Kensington – In Phase Two of a multi-year project, SELT is protecting the final 200+ acres of the Bodwell Dairy Farm in Kensington. One of only five remaining commercial dairies in Rockingham County, SELT has made this six-generation farm a top priority in its effort to protect important farmland. Bodwell Farm provides the surrounding community with milk, cheese, meats and other farm products while also maintaining critical open space, wildlife habitat, and scenic strolls that remind passers-by of a more agrarian past. Partners include the Kensington Conservation Commission, NRCS, LCHIP, the Lewis Family Foundation, the 1772 Foundation, and more than 120 area residents who made donations!

7. Kaczmarek Donations, Kensington – Elaine Kaczmarek and her son, Stefan have roots that grow deep into the land at Prescott Corner in Kensington. Little has changed on these two properties for centuries, and for good reason; open space abounds, streams meander, and lush fields grow hay to sustain local farms. Both Kaczmareks appreciate the beauty and bounty of these 70+ acres, and each have generously agreed to donate a conservation easement to SELT so that nature and the surrounding community may continue to flourish long into the future.

8. Lewis Donation, Candia – Dennis Lewis and his brother Daniel have pledged to donate a conservation easement in honor of their parents Ralph and Norma on 124+ acres of land, which the family has pieced together over the years. The land includes fields, a large forest and two old sugar shack foundations which the family hopes to revive someday. A diversity of wetlands including frontage along the North Branch River provides habitat for amphibians, songbirds, waterfowl, wading birds, and moose. This project has been supported by many partnerships including the state’s Moose Plate program, Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, and NH DES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund (ARM).

9. Derry Conservation Easement – With the aid of SELT and the Merrimack Conservation Partnership, the Derry Town Council and Conservation Commission stepped up to purchase 75 acres of land, which has been a high priority for decades. This acquisition grows an existing conservation complex to over 400 acres providing frontage along the Rockingham Recreational Trail, access to an existing trail network, and scenic views of Ballard Pond – all while helping to protect a downstream water supply reservoir. Transaction funding for this project was provided by the Merrimack Conservation Partnership, a public/private effort for land conservation in the Merrimack River Watershed. To learn more, visit