2014 Land Transaction Grant Recipients Announced

The important work of land protection is not done alone and it certainly is not done without the willingness of land owners. The land protection transaction grant program aims at providing vital support for the costs associated with conserving land.  For many organizations, raising these funds can often be a barrier to successfully completing a conservation project.
In early May PREP and the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership (GBRPP) jointly issued an RFP for $53,000 in grant funds. The combined grant program offered an opportunity to provide more funding for land conservation projects in the coastal watershed. A total of seven applications were received, totaling $36,725 in grant requests. All proposals were determined to meet the eligibility criteria and represented projects of high conservation value. The matching funds totaled $153,493.
The grant funds will contribute to the conservation of 371 acres of land in three communities, and support the prospective conservation of an additional 1,474 acres of land in seven communities. The project locations are across the watershed in seven different communities: Epping, Dover, Madbury, Fremont, Nottingham, Wakefield and Farmington.

The benefits to the watershed from these projects are numerous including:

  • Protection of wetlands and vernal pools
  • Protection of woodlands and agricultural lands
  • Protection of high value habitats as identified in the regional coastal conservation plans
  • Frontage on streams
  • Cultural and historic resources – the Burley farmstead is listed on the national register and Berrybrook farm has a mill foundation
  • Protection of source water areas for clean drinking water resources
  • Connections to existing conservation lands that help to create large swaths of land to support larger wildlife species
Venal Pools are very important for the lifecycle of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates

There were five organizations and towns who received funding including: The Town of Fremont, Southeast Land Trust of NH, The Nature Conservancy, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways andStrafford Rivers Conservancy.

“The PREP/GBRPP Land Transactions Grants are instrumental to the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire’s work.  The grants awarded to the Land Trust helped us facilitate successful negotiations with landowners by providing much needed funds for real estate appraisals on a popular 260-acre farm in Epping that has extensive frontage on the Lamprey River, one of the State’s two federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers, and toward the acquisition costs of over 200 acres of farm and forest land in Epping that will be permanently conserved for future local food production.” Said Duane Hyde, Southeast Land Trust’s Land Protection Director.

The next 2015 RFP and application for land transaction grant fund will be available online through the PREP and GBRPP webpages by 10/1/2014, grants due 1/30/2015.

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.