Ausbon Sargent is currently working with numerous landowners who wish to conserve their property. Some of these properties require little to no financial assistance or fundraising through Ausbon Sargent. Others could not happen without the help received through grants, town conservation commissions and private donations from friends and neighbors. Each property must meet certain criteria through analysis by our Board of Trustees before the steps to place a conservation easement on the property can begin. The protection of a property must provide for some public benefit, and there must be an element of resiliency (how quickly or efficiently a property can recover or adapt from a natural disaster or from climate change). Our mission is to "preserve the rural landscape of the Mt. Kearsarge/Ragged/Lake Sunapee region" which is a very important concept to those who live in and visit our area.
Messer Farm Property - New London, NH
Conservation of the historic Messer Farm has been among the town's highest priorities for over 30 years. On October 30, 2020, Ausbon Sargent successfully acquired the property. The parcel's 22 acres of open fields contain prime soils for growing local produce, currently leased by Spring Ledge Farm. 122 acres of woodland sustain natural wildlife habitat, offer a vast network of recreational footpaths, and hold the headwaters of Red Brook and White Brook, which feed into Pleasant Lake. Its ever-changing views of Mt. Kearsarge are admired by all who pass by. The aquisition and conservation of this undeveloped land will benefit us all, now and always!
How do We Raise Funds for Our Projects?
Some of our land projects, such as the three Wendell Marsh projects in Sunapee (2015-2018), were very complex and required that we seek funds from grants and private donors to complete them. The Brown Family's Frazier Brook Farm in Warner (2018) was a wonderful example of the family, grantors, the town conservation commission and local donors coming together to protect an important agricultural property. Fund-raising campaigns for easements like these can take months or, in some cases, years to complete.
Even when the landowners manage most of the costs of donating an easement on their property, there are still many transaction costs associated with a conservation easement for which most landowners request help. Some of these transaction costs are reflected below:
- Property Surveys average $5,000-10,000
- Stewardship costs will be $5,000, minimum, though usually more
- A required Hazardous Waste Assessment is $2,000
- Title Work is generally $2,000 (+)
With several land projects currently in the development stages, Ausbon Sargent welcomes contributions from its members and friends to help manage the costs associated with preserving our rural landscape. Please contact our office with questions about our current projects and/or fundraising needs. Thank you for your interest in Ausbon Sargent!