Conservation Project Summary
Conservation of land on Bridgewater Hill has long been a high priority for the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, and LRCT is honored to work with a group of generous and dedicated landowners on LRCT’s first conservation projects in Bridgewater.
The owners of four neighboring properties on Dick Brown and Poole Hill Roads have joined together to conserve their properties totaling approximately 170 acres. Landowners Chris Keppelman and Jim Mulroy, who have long been committed to the conservation of their land, encouraged their neighbors also to consider conservation options. As a result, joining Chris and Jim in placing conservation easements on their property are neighbors Frank and Phoebe Griswold and Richard Lobban and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, and Fred and Cathy Short have donated their land to LRCT. These lands comprise largely wooded slopes around and uphill from Dick Brown Brook and several of its tributaries, helping to protect water quality, important habitat, and climate resilient lands and to preserve the scenic qualities and character of Bridgewater Hill.
LRCT is extraordinarily grateful to these landowners, and particularly to Chris and Jim for their vision and leadership in encouraging a land conservation collaboration of neighbors with LRCT. We hope that this effort will provide inspiration for additional land conservation on Bridgewater Hill.
Key Conservation Values
Forests and Farmland Soils
- The properties are largely wooded, primarily hemlock-hardwood-pine forest, with some open field/shrub habitat.
- Parts of one property are mapped as farmland soils of statewide importance.
- Parts of the properties are identified as highest ranked habitat in the State of New Hampshire under the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), and other parts are classified as supporting landscapes for such habitat under the WAP. Parts of the properties are also identified as prioritized habitat block and primary wildlife corridor.
- Bear, deer, moose, porcupine, and woodland jumping mouse have been observed or are otherwise known to be present in this habitat, and many other species are also likely to be present.
- Parts of the properties have additional ecological value because they are ranked as climate change resilient in LRCT’s Lakes Region Conservation Plan, based on climate data developed by The Nature Conservancy.
- These properties encompass thousands of feet of frontage on Dick Brown Brook and tributary streams and drainage channels, as well as adjacent riparian and wetland areas.
- Dick Brown Brook flows to Newfound Lake just north of Whittemore Point in Bridgewater, and conservation of these lands helps to protect surface and ground water resources on the properties themselves and the quality of waters downgradient and downstream.
Scenic Qualities and Community Character
- These properties have significant frontage on Dick Brown Road and on Poole Hill Road, a lightly traveled road which is not plowed in the winter, and thus their conservation protects the scenic rural and natural quality of these roadsides.
- The properties are part of an expansive largely unfragmented woodland habitat extending through the central part of the Town of Bridgewater.
- Chris Keppelman and Jim Mulroy, Frank and Phoebe Griswold, Richard Lobban and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, and Fred and Cathy Short, for their commitment to conservation and to Bridgewater and their interest in working with LRCT to fulfill their shared conservation aspirations for their properties;
- the Newfound Lake Region Association, a wonderful partner for LRCT when we work on projects in the Newfound Watershed;
- the Newfound Land Conservation Partnership, a productive and successful conservation collaboration established in 2009;
- the John Gemmill Newfound Fund, established by Helen Gemmill, which has provided critical support for numerous land conservation projects in the Newfound Watershed since 2013; and
- former LRCT President Tom Curren, for his commitment to Bridgewater and his continuing assistance with and encouragement of LRCT’s conservation efforts on Bridgewater Hill.