In late 2015, PLC received a generous grant from the You Have Our Trust Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to underwrite a comprehensive forest and ecological inventory of our 189-acre Rose Mountain Preserve in Lyndeborough, and develop a property management plan for the land. The funder was especially attracted to the project because PLC was committed to developing the plan in consultation with representatives of the town and the many different recreational user groups that enjoy the Rose Mountain property and surrounding areas. Collaboration is a good thing, but it takes time. We set a timeline to inventory the property and develop the management plan during 2016, so we would be ready to begin implementation in the 2017 field season.
A good management plan for a conservation property like Rose Mountain should start with a thorough understanding of a property’s natural resources. In the spring of 2016, PLC commissioned a full forest inventory for the Rose Mountain property. The work was done by licensed foresters from TEMCO, a division of Meadowsend Timberlands, who have extensive expertise in timber management on conserved properties. Regular reader of this newsletter may recall that TEMCO also developed our recent forest inventory/management plan for the Tuthill Preserve in New Boston. The forest inventory was complemented by an ecological assessment done by Kane Conservation that specifically looked for and catalogued unique natural communities. We did this additional inventory work to make sure we identified biologically-important and sensitive areas to ensure their protection from human impacts.
Once we had the forest and ecological inventories in hand, we convened the Rose Mountain recreational trails “stakeholder” group in the summer of 2016. The group (see box) represented hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding interests, and also brought conservation property stewardship and trail development / management expertise. The group held their first meeting in early August, and ultimately met in person three times, including twice on the Rose Mountain property itself.
As the planning project moved along, the Town of Lyndeborough designated the town-owned property abutting the Rose Mountain Preserve to the south as a Town Forest, and cut a more user-friendly trail to the north connecting in the PLC Preserve’s trails. Providing a trail for walkers coming into the Preserve from the south has been a wonderful enhancement to the Rose Mountain experience. As fall turned to winter, PLC turned to drafting the Rose Mountain management plan, which is now complete available for review on the PLC website. Implementation will begin later this year, and there will be many opportunities for volunteers to be involved in trail development and restoration projects. PLC’s goal is to make the Rose Mt. Preserve even more enjoyable and usable than it already is, and a place of which all of us will be proud.
Tom Jones is PLC’s Land Protection Specialist
THANK YOU to the Rose Mountain Recreation Stakeholder Group:
Sharon Akers – Lyndeborough Conservation Commission
Mike Boyko – PLC Trustee, Stewardship Committee
Decubellis – Lyndeborough Conservation Commission
Carrie Finke – Piscataquog Area Trailways
Ben Haubrich – PLC Trustee, Land Protection Committee
Kris Henry – Lyndeborough Conservation Commission
Diana Nadeau – Wilton-Lyndeborough Winter Wanderers Snowmobile Club
Kevin Pobst – PLC Rose Mountain Volunteer Property Monitor
Martha Sunderland – PLC Trustee, Land Protection Committee