8/4/2017 Fundraising update: More than 150 donors have contributed $70,000 in the past few weeks! $105,000 remains to close the gap.
A secret lies in Barrington, nestled in forested hills, hiding behind “No Trespassing” signs dotting its boundary…
This secret is the proposed Stonehouse Forest, some 1,500 acres of land adjacent to the popular Stonehouse Pond. This expansive landscape supports vibrant wildlife, free flowing streams, and miles of trails.
1,500 acres is a huge amount of land – it is one of the largest undeveloped spaces in the area. This rich land supports common and rare wildlife like bobcats, turtles, and moose. Its natural ponds are clean and free flowing. And its forest blankets the rugged terrain.
The more than 50 separate parcels that make up Stonehouse Forest were acquired over decades by a European investor with a grand idea: to create an exotic game hunting reserve for a limited few to enjoy. The owner abandoned this plan, and in 2015 offered the community and you – the chance to purchase the land and save it for all to enjoy.
With your gift, you can create an even grander vision: A scenic landscape saved forever, with trails open to the public. A pristine area preserving clean water flowing to Mendums Pond, Swains Lake and beyond. An undisturbed, healthy forest teeming with diverse wildlife.
SELT must secure the necessary funds as soon as possible to ensure a timely closing under our purchase agreement. If we fail to acquire this land, it will be sold for development. Conceptual plans show 350 possible house lots with 8+ miles of new roads, fragmenting these unspoiled lands.
With your support, Stonehouse Forest can be saved, 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. Please give generously today to help acquire, conserve, and steward this magnificent landscape.
What makes Stonehouse Forest so special?
• Clean water begins in these unfragmented woods with natural ponds, bogs and five miles of streams. In fact, Stonehouse Forest is the headwaters for Mendums Pond, eventually flowing to the Lamprey River and Great Bay.
• Wildlife thrive here, such as reclusive turtles and bobcats, migrating waterfowl like black duck, and our state’s largest mammals like moose and bear.
• Family-friendly recreation: Where “No Trespassing” signs once stood, welcome signs will invite you and your family to enjoy a trail network for hiking and exploring Stonehouse Forest.
• For the future: For all of these reasons, Town and regional partners have long-identified the Stonehouse Forest area as a conservation priority – saving this special place for today and future generations.
The total cost to purchase, conserve, and steward Stonehouse Forest is over $3.4 million. Over the past two years, generous donors have pledged more than 94% of the cost to conserve Stonehouse Forest with funds committed by public and private sources, including the state’s LCHIP and Moose Plate programs as well as the Town of Barrington. Incredibly, just $175,000 remains to be raised.
Now is your opportunity to contribute and save Stonehouse Forest. Your gift will help close the gap – the final $175,000 – to successfully purchase this vital land and save it for the benefit of all today, and of generations to come. Please give as generously as you can – gifts of all sizes are welcome and will make a difference.
By conserving Stonehouse Forest, you will help to ensure a future of clean water, lush forests, thriving wildlife, and places to hike, ski, snowmobile, and hunt.
Please join your friends and neighbors: Donate here to help conserve and steward this special place!
Every gift helps – THANK YOU!