The Lake Wentworth Foundation has launched a major conservation initiative to protect 191 acres at the headwaters of Warren Brook, a significant tributary that feeds Lake Wentworth, the Smith River, Crescent Lake, and Lake Winnipesaukee.
The Warren Brook Campaign seeks to raise $115,000 for the purchase of a conservation easement on the land, for the establishment of a land stewardship fund to protect the property in perpetuity, and for construction of a public access trail from Route 109.
“This effort exemplifies the Foundation’s mission to protect and preserve the water quality and natural resources of Lake Wentworth, Crescent Lake, and their watershed, now and for future generations,” said Bob Cole, Foundation Executive Director. “The watershed covers 37 square miles, almost all within the town of Wolfeboro, so its protection enhances life here for residents and visitors alike.”
The new easement will include more than 3,200 feet of frontage on both sides of Warren Brook, with more than 50 acres of wetlands, rated Tier 1 by NH Fish & Game as a highest-ranked habitat. These wetlands maintain water quality by filtering nutrients and sediments from storm water runoff.
Warren Brook contains highly ranked habitat for wildlife as identified by the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan, and the targeted parcel joins other protected lands—Copple Crown Mountain, the Jones Brook Wildlife Management Area, and the Moose Mountains Reservation—to form a largely unfragmented forest block.
Above the wetlands, there are elevated lands whose development will have a significant effect on water quality, wildlife species, and the scenic beauty of the region. The conservation easement will forever protect these 191 acres from being developed.
More than 100 people attended a campaign launch event on June 26 at Lake View Inn Bed & Breakfast. Speakers included Jack Savage, Vice President, Communications and Outreach at the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests and Chair of the Board at Moose Mountains Regional Greenways. Savage outlined the importance of this project in the context of similar work being done in this area as well as throughout the state. View slideshow of photos from the campaign launch.
Cole echoed Savage’s call for partnerships in these efforts. “We are blessed to be united in our commitment to this watershed. Our planet needs our help, and while we cannot take on all the problems of the world—overpopulation, excessive development, water pollution and climate change—we can act locally and together.”
Residents and property owners in the watershed have received a mailing that describes the conservation project and asks for their support. The current call for action echoes a similar project completed in 1977, when 400 donors united to purchase and protect Stamp Act Island, a mile-long island and bird sanctuary at the heart of Lake Wentworth.
More information about the Warren Brook Campaign can be found at the Foundation’s website, lakewentworthfoundation.org, or on its Facebook page. Cole can be reached at 603-534-0222 or BobCole@lakewentworthfoundation.org.