Larry Ely and Ginger Lawson own First Mountain Forest, a 130-acre parcel recently protected with a conservation easement through the Mahoosuc Land Trust. A recent walk held on the property (Oct. 22, 2010), co-sponsored by the landowners and the Coverts Project (Larry is a Coverts volunteer) was a great chance for visitors to see fall foliage in the White Mountains. The walk started with a picnic lunch and included a hike partway to the mountain's summit with great views of the Presidentials, and a shorter loop through adjoining properties that showcased a wide diversity of wildlife habitats.
Larry and Ginger's property provides a wildlife corridor connecting the Carter Moriah Range of the White Mountain National Forest to the Mahoosuc Mountain Range across the Androscoggin River. Larry and Ginger enjoy their property for its incredible views, hiking on several of the many hand-cut trails on the property, and experience mature forests, dramatic cliffs, rich floodplain forests and beautiful agricultural areas. Nearby is habitat that Larry and others have identified as some of the "best bear habitat anywhere" (he can share a few bear stories!).
Larry and Ginger recently placed a conservation easement on their property which ensures long-term protection for the wildlife habitat features on the property. Due to the steep slopes, and the fact that many conservation parcels in the region allow for commercial timber harvesting, the First Mountain Forest easement prevents commercial or mechanized harvesting on the property. The First Mountain Forest offers an example of land stewardship that places wildlife and habitat at its core, along with enhancing mature forest characteristics through natural processes.
First Mountain is the first conservation piece in a larger conservative initiative that will include as much as 30,000-acres of Mahoosuc forestland in Shelburne and Success, NH. Larry and Ginger have been heavily involved in these conservation efforts.