On June 9, 2023 the Land Trust closed on the purchase of 71.66 acres of one of the most ecologically significant forest blocks in New England. This property not only helps protect the Bradford Bog Headwaters, but also the Abenaki ancient healing springs site, and the Atlantic White Cedar Bog and wildflower sanctuary. It is also an important regenerating forest, which is a haven for many threatened species of birds. There were many players in this project, including Mike Andrews, who purchased the property and held the title until Ausbon Sargent could raise the funds to purchase it. The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and the NH Moose Plate Program were also instrumental in completing this project. Further support came from the Bradford Conservation Commission, Rural Heritage Connection of Bradford, Inc., the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership, the Fields Pond Foundation, Burton Morgan Foundation, an anonymous donor, and many private donations from interested citizens. It was a group effort that pulled together to protect a very important property, forever. For more information on this property, click HERE.
On July 5, 2023, the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust finalized the donation of a conservation easement on the 144-acre Messer Farm property in New London. Ausbon Sargent owns and manages the property, but to further ensure its protection, The Society for the Protection of NH Forests (the Forest Society) will now hold a conservation easement on it. The implementation of this easement will solidify the promise made to many donors who supported Ausbon Sargent in purchasing Messer Farm in 2020. Click HERE to read the full press release.
The Ausbon Sargent board and staff are pleased to announce the arrival of incoming Executive Director, Ben Wallace. Ben comes to Ausbon Sargent after 22 years of working in the land protection business. He has worked in stewardship, program and organizational management, project fundraising, policy, regulation, and environmental science.
Ben said that he is thrilled to move from California to New Hampshire with his family and is excited about joining the land trust community.
He shared that as a frequent visitor of his grandparents in Elkins, he grew up hiking, swimming, canoeing, skiing, and snowshoeing in the Mt. Kearsarge/Ragged/Lake Sunapee region and has a deep appreciation for the work ASLPT has done to protect its rural character. He looks forward to working with the Board, staff, volunteers, and easement partners to preserve the beautiful farms, woodlands, and watersheds in the place he calls home.
Ben's wife, Julie Paulson, is a scholar of English literature and disability studies. They are both delighted to give their children the opportunity to experience four seasons.
Debbie Stanley, retiring Executive Director, said she is pleased that there is an eight-week period to train and help acclimate Ben to the position, insuring a smooth transition.