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Upper Valley Land Trust 2010 Annual Report
For me the Upper Valley Community Land Trust began when Frances Field of Lebanon, who, like me, has a small farm, kept pestering me with questions. How are we going to keep our farms in farming? How can we keep all the farms in farming? Fran began attending meetings about land preservation and began pelting me (and many others) with literature about conservation easements and community land trusts. I think thats the answer, she told me, and there are land trusts around here. But Id feel better leaving my farm under the protection of a local organization, a land trust of my neighbors in the Upper Valley. ~Dana Meadows, First Chair of UVLTs Board of Trustees in the 1987 Annual Report
Working Togetherto Shape the Habitat We Call Home
Around the Upper Valley, the signs of land conservation are increasing. Were not just talking about UVLTs colorful signs marking the locations of conserved properties. Were referring to profound changes on the land and in communities.
In the years since UVLT was founded, Upper Valley farms have adapted and innovated, establishing fruit and vegetable operations, organic dairies and artisinal cheeses. Farm stands now dot our roadways, and area residents have organized farmers markets in nearly every town.
Community volunteers are actively working with landowners to create and maintain trails. Towns are acquiring land for public natural areas. Physicians are prescribing walking for health. Senior centers are leading regular hikes on conserved land.
Lake Associations and Conservation Commissions promote watershed conservation to protect drinking water supplies. Biologists and economists analyze carbon sequestration in our forests. Farmers grow oilseeds for fuel. Communities rely on biomass for energy. The natural meandering of rivers and streams is protected as a means of mitigating flood risk. Students observe flora and fauna, keep journals, create art and tell stories through place-based school curricula.
Conserved properties are more than green dots on a map of the Upper Valley region they are multi-dimensional: connecting food, water, habitat, health, livelihood, learning sustainability. The corridors and networks overlap and reinforce one another. The impacts of land conservation are immediate and personal. They continuously ripple outward and evolve.
This report describes UVLTs activities and achievements during just one fiscal year. But fiscal year 2010 is inseparable from past and future we reach forward empowered by the commitment, boldness and generosity of UVLTs founders. As we enter UVLTs 25th anniversary year we have much to celebrate. But our region and our planet face serious challenges.
Local solutions, identifying and investing in open space, strengthen the adaptability and resilience of our communities. Here and now is where we are working, and the scope of possibility is what we make it. Thank you for joining with us,
Rick Roesch Jeanie McIntyreChair, Board of Trustees President
From The President
Above, Left to Right: Sara Cavin, Lee & Kathy Larson, and Peg Merrens at the project closing of the Larsons Songbird Forest in Lyme in December.
Laura & Walter Ryan at the signing of the conservation easement on the Nathaniel & Ina Thurber Memorial Forest in Unity, NH in January.
At Left: Fran Wright signs the easement on the property belonging to her and her husband, John, in Weathersfield. At Right: James Thaxton looks on as Lilla Willey signs the document to protect her farmland in Thetford.
238 acres of prime farmland:tillage along the Connecticut River, organic dairy farm in Newbury, pastures in Hartland and along Academy Road in Thetford
Over 3 miles of scenic road frontage: backdrops for village centers and peaceful rural roads, landscapes characterizing the Connecticut River National Scenic Byway
77 acres of wetlands:Jacobs Brook outlet in Orford, Mill Brook wetlands in Weathersfield, confluence of Pressey & Tunis Brooks in Hanover, large wetland and vernal pools in Strafford, and an outdoor classroom on Thetford Hill
Forest land:Town forests in Grantham & Unity, Tree Farm in Lyme, productive Sugarbush in Strafford
Public access:Seven properties conserved with public trailsor dispersed public access granted to UVLT
Memorial lands:Strafford and Unity forests conserved in honor of family members with deep roots in the land
Habitat:Expanded wildlife corridors for large mammals, beaver wetlands, upland songbird habitat, riparian areaswith wooded buffers
Generous LandownersSusan BakerRay & Tina ClarkAnn & Harte CrowTown of GranthamAnna LambLee & Kathy LarsonTown of OrfordLaura & Walter RyanBert & Pam VinesLilla WilleyJohn & Fran Wright
959 acres: 13 parcels
Our successes make the Upper Valley better - healthier, more beautiful, more sustainable,
and more hopeful.
Celebration & CommunityEvents and public programs
Hikes and tours on conserved landWe hiked Igor Blakes conserved Tree Farm in Newport, NH at the 2009 NH Tree Farm Field Day. In January, we snowshoed at the Bear Pond Natural Area in Canaan with the Mascoma Watershed Conservation Council. Pictured below, we joined the Hartford Parks & Recreation Dept. on a Wednesday walk on the Cossingham Farm Road Trails. In April, UVLT Trustee, Roger Hanlon, began leading Second Sunday Strolls on UVLT-conserved trails. Also this spring, we celebrated conservation at the Nathaniel & Ina Thurber Memorial Forest in Unity, NH.
Stories & ImagesIn the fall, we collaborated with local photographer Jim Block and Fools Gold puzzle maker David Beffa-Negrini to sell puzzles made with images of the UVLT-conserved Bicknell Brook area. We hosted film screenings of King Corn and Food, Inc. We collaborated with Everybody Wins! Vermont to bring childrens author Natalie Kinsey Warnock to the Hanover Inn. In May, we hosted a digital photography workshop with Jim Block.
Celebration & Community
Spreading the WordWe were the Co-op Food Stores partner of the month for September (see Kathy Larson, above). We also collaborated with the Co-op to sell water bottles and promote tap water. We participated in Flavors of the Valley by distributing samples of pesto made from the invasive Garlic Mustard. We shared a table with the Hartland Conservation Commission and Trout Unlimited at the Hartland Farm Fest. There, we served Japanese Knotweed Crumble and discussed ways of removing the pesky invasive plant.
Learning OpportunitiesIn October, we participated in a walking tour and land management workshop at Orange County Forester, David Paganellis family Tree Farm in South Strafford. During the winter, UVLT hosted a gathering and discussion for Conservation Commissioners. In May, we collaborated with Steve Faccio of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies to host a vernal pool walk at the Chas Baker Sugarbush in Strafford, VT (at right & top, facing page).
At Right: the 2010 Patchen Miller Award was received by the Thetford Elementary School for their support
of the conservation of Zebedee Headwaters.
Above: In April, Jeanie McIntyre received the Sarah Thorne Award, given to her by the Society
for the Protection of New Hampshires Forests.
From theTreasurer Revenues & Expenses Your Land Trust has been managed well through the economic uncertainties of these past two years. UVLTs Endowment has regained the value it had prior to the economic downturn. This is largely due to the careful asset stewardship of Doug Loudon, Quentin Faulkner and the other members of UVLTs Investment Committee. Our endowment is the base that lets us be confident that we can fulfill our obligations in perpetuity. The engine that keeps the land trust running smoothly is the superb, dedicated and skilled staff one of our key assets. The budget that supports this work is approximately $650,000 annually and two-thirds of this funding comes from the
generous support of our members. Last year, even with the downturn in the economy we were able to achieve our fundraising goals. And this year, we ended the year right on target. We are thankful to you for your support through these sometimes frightening times. You have enabled us to stay the course. Our work is to team with landowners and funders and create conservation easements which protect important parts of our valley. These are the value which we create. However, these assets dont show up on our financial statements. This year weve protected 13 more parcels and nearly 1,000 more acres. In total, we now hold an interest in 400 properties and 40,000 acres across the Upper Valley. At a conservative $5,000 per acre for development rights, your generosity over the past 24 years has moved over $200 million in value to the public side of the balance sheet. This is the score of the bounty generated by our superb staff and funded by your generosity. Thank you! That officially ends the Treasurers Report. But as a retiring Trustee, I would like to ask your indulgence in a swan song. I would first like to express my high confidence in the future leadership of the organization, in the staff - especially Jeanie McIntyre and Lorie Hood - and in the exceptional Board of Trustees. Second, we need your continuing generous support of the unique, dedicated staff. Third, as state and local funding for conservation dwindles, I ask that you keep in mind the possibility and necessity of funding from within