The Lakes Region Conservation Trust is proud to announce the expansion of its Fogg Hill Conservation Area in West Center Harbor. The acquisition and permanent conservation of an abutting 43-acre parcel on Piper Hill Rd. in January 2016 brings the total acreage of the conservation area to 235. The newly acquired parcel encompasses valuable habitat and 1,250 feet of shoreline on Bear Pond and allows LRCT to create a trailhead parking area to provide access to all of the trails at the Fogg Hill Conservation Area.
The Fogg Hill Conservation Area forms a significant part of a 900+ acre unfragmented woodland and wetland habitat in the Waukewan and Winona Watershed that is the largest roadless area in Center Harbor. This area is important for wildlife as well as a number of species of rare and threatened plants, and it’s also critical to the quality of surface and ground waters in the Watershed. Expanding the conserved acreage in this area is essential to maintaining this important habitat, preserving the water quality of these beautiful lakes for recreation and drinking water supplies and protecting the underlying aquifer also used for drinking water. In addition, these conserved lands will provide wonderful recreational and educational opportunities for both residents of and visitors to the area.
The property includes the Fogg Hill Bog Wetland Complex, which was designated a prime wetland by Center Harbor in 2013. One of the town’s highest elevations, the summit of Fogg Hill, is also part of the property. Fogg Hill is an important element of the scenic landscape of the area, visible from vantage points in Center Harbor, Meredith, Ashland, and New Hampton.
Ecologist Dr. Rick Van de Poll, who completed a Natural Resources Inventory for the town in 2011, notes:
“The Fogg Hill property provides a critical conservation link between the only level peat bog in the area and the largest unfragmented forest block of land in Center Harbor. It provides watershed protection to both Lake Winona and the Snake River, both of which contribute valuable public drinking water supplies to Meredith. This remote upland area contains a mix of unusual forest types of venerable age, complete with high value wildlife habitat and rare plant species. The conservation of this parcel provides an anchor to protecting a landscape that will be used and appreciated for generations to come.”
LRCT is very grateful for extraordinarily generous support for this recent acquisition from a number of individuals and families in the area, as well as for help in the fundraising from members and directors of the Waukewan and Winona Watershed Protective Association. In addition, the project received a generous grant from the New Hampshire Electric Co-op Foundation, as well as a major contribution from the Town of Center Harbor Conservation Fund to purchase a conservation easement on the land to be held by the Town.
LRCT originally acquired 192 acres of the Fogg Hill Conservation Area in 2013 with tremendous support from individuals, businesses, community organizations, and foundations in the community and from other towns in the Lakes Region. In addition, the Center Harbor Conservation Fund made a significant contribution towards the project and the Town will hold a conservation easement on the property. LRCT also received a generous grant from the Aquatic Resources Mitigation (ARM) Fund of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services towards conservation and stewardship of the property.
As owner of the Fogg Hill Conservation Area, LRCT looks forward to its partnership with the Town of Center Harbor as conservation easement holder in conserving and stewarding this important property for the benefit and enjoyment of the community.