Ausbon Sargent has been working with the Brown family in Warner from late 2017 and throughout 2018 to place a conservation easement on their approximately 130-acre Brown Family’s Frazier Brook Farm in Warner. We are happy to announce that this project closed on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
The Brown family has owned various pieces of this property near Mason Hill and Brown Roads since the 1800’s and have sold and repurchased sections of the property in the years since. As a shared family effort, they have now reacquired and plan to maintain most of their acreage. One family member shared that “it was always our hope to conserve the property to guarantee that what we had worked so hard to restore would never again be broken up. We just never considered it was possible to do it at this time. After talking with Ausbon Sargent’s Land Protection Specialist, Andy Deegan, we realized that it might happen sooner than later and Ausbon Sargent could help to make our dream a reality.”
The process has been long and the Browns have shared both exciting news during this time as well as some unexpected setbacks. In December of 2017, The Brown Family’s Frazier Brook Farm was one of seven farms selected to receive a portion of the 2017 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) grant funding amounting to $180,000. This award provided the financial support to move the project forward.
On the evening of May 4, 2018, however, a powerful storm front, later confirmed as a tornado, swept across NH. The most extensive damage was inflicted on a few properties in the town of Warner. The Brown Family's Frazier Brook Farm had hundreds of trees that were blown over as though they were matchsticks. Most of the toppled trees were full-grown pines and oaks. By the next day, Nate Brown, a co-owner of Frazier Brook Farm, began boarding out the fallen timber and estimated that he will take out 3/4 million board feet of wood. Though a timber project such as this should have been managed over many years as these trees matured, the Browns acted quickly and were able to achieve some gain from this tragic natural disaster.
This rich property boasts 1,700 feet of frontage on the Frazier Brook, a major tributary to Schoodac Brook. It is adjacent to other parcels of protected property and helps to expand and protect a corridor of land from Warner through Salisbury and into Andover and Webster important for the migration of various species.
The Brown property will remain managed as a working farm for agriculture, timber and maple syrup production and it will remain open for low-impact public recreation.
We have many to thank for their support of this project. The Brown Family agreed to a “bargain sale” donating 25% of the land value. This property has been protected with assistance from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, so our thanks extend to LCHIP. In addition, we are thankful to the Warner Conservation Commission, the Fields Pond Foundation, the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and pleased to receive the remainder of the necessary funds through an anonymous grant and private donations that have allowed us to complete this project.