Conserving open space protects air, soil, and water quality, while providing wildlife with room to roam, helping maintain treasured community character, and deepening our connection to the land.
What We’ve Protected
The Harris Center has directly protected over 22,000 acres of land in the Monadnock Region for wildlife and people alike. We have also played an integral role in stitching together a 34,500-acre SuperSanctuary of clustered protected lands in our focus area, which includes the towns of Antrim, Dublin, Greenfield, Hancock, Harrisville, Nelson, Peterborough, and Stoddard. Harris Center conserved lands protect 16 hills and mountains greater than 1,500 feet in elevation, shorefront surrounding or abutting 5 large lakes and 14 smaller waterbodies, 92 miles along rivers and streams, more than 1,600 acres of diverse wetlands, and 20 miles of hiking trails.
How it Works
We have utilized numerous techniques for conserving these special places, including outright purchase, borrow and pay back to a revolving loan fund, funding through limited development, outright gift, and bargain sale, whereby the seller makes a tax-deductible donation by accepting less than the appraised value for the land. Our most important tool has been the conservation easement, in which the landowner retains ownership and most management rights and responsibilities for a given property, but donates or sells all or most of the development rights to a land trust. (Readone landowner’s story here.)
Successful land protection requires strong partnerships. Over the years, the Harris Center has joined forces with landowners, towns, government agencies, and dozens of local and regional organizations to protect special places in the Monadnock Region for present and future generations. Our conservation partners include the Monadnock Conservancy, the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Nature Conservancy, New Hampshire Audubon, New England Forestry Foundation, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Trust for Public Land, and municipalities throughout the Monadnock Region.
For more information on conserving land with the Harris Center, please contact Land Protection Specialist Eric Masterson at (603) 525-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.