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A Partnership of UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Fish and Game

Monadnock Conservancy Partnering with Local Communities

Several groups of people huddled over the Wildlife Action Plan maps, a buzz of animated conversation filling the room. Taking Action for Wildlife had come to Alstead, and more than 30 community members were discussing and identifying important habitat areas in town. This was part of the Monadnock Conservancy’s “Community Conservation Partnership” which successfully engaged more than 12 communities in the region from 2008 – 2014. The Conservancy, a land trust covering 35 towns in Cheshire and Western Hillsborough counties, worked with these communities to develop comprehensive Open Space/Conservation Plans that incorporated Natural Resources Inventory data, including wildlife information. By working with communities over a period of intense engagement (several months to a year), the Conservancy was successful in bringing in a wide range of citizens as well as town boards to be part of the projects. Separate work sessions focused on agriculture, wildlife and water resources allowed people to participate in the areas of their interest. This involvement increased citizen ownership of, and support for, the conservation priorities identified. Back in Alstead, as a direct result of the Conservancy’s work with them, several properties were conserved) all of which had valuable wildlife habitats.  “Information from the Wildlife Action Plan was critical when looking at the conservation values on these parcels”, commented Rick Brackett, project manager at the Monadnock Conservancy. This success in conserving key parcels of land with important habitats was repeated in several other communities.