The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has completed a long-term effort to protect two adjacent forests in the northern part of the state totaling 3,700 acres.
The forests will be managed for multiple objectives, including habitat protection, scenic value, and for public recreation and education. They will remain open to hiking, hunting, fishing and forest management.
The 2,670-acre Shelburne Valley Forest rises from the Androscoggin River to the ridgeline of the Mahoosuc Range, an extension of the White Mountains that straddles the border between New Hampshire and Maine. The land includes an 84-mile trail, river fishing and boating opportunities, and diverse habitats such as cranberry bogs and red spruce swamps.
The 1,030-acre Bald Cap Peak Forest is home to hiking trails. The rocky pine ledges of Bald Cap Peak and Middle Mountain and the 300-foot cascades of Giant Falls are prominent features. With 2.6 miles of boundary with the Appalachian Trail, it helps connect the Mahoosucs and the White Mountain National Forest.
The completed conservation projects were announced Monday.
The projects are “conserving working forest that provides sustainable forest products, enhances outdoor recreation, protects water quality, and links diverse ecosystems that combat climate change,” Jack Savage, society president, said in a statement.
He said the projects came together as a result of a multi-decade partnership to fund and acquire the lands between local, state and national organizations such as The Conservation Fund and the town of Shelburne.