Ausbon Sargent partnered with The Nature Conservancy to complete Phase 3 of the Courser Project. The signing of three separate conservation easements in December of 2008 was completed with the four Courser siblings—adding another 440 acres to the previously protected 455 acres of Phase 1 and 2. Phase 4 was then completed in 2010, bringing the total project of 1,250 acres to a close.
Courser Phase 3 includes three separate parcels—109 acres adjacent to the NH Fish and Game protected lands of Knight’s Meadow Marsh and two parcels adjacent to the Courser Farm Phase 2—146 acres* on Connors Mill Road and 185 acres* on Poverty Plains Road (our 100th land project!). These 440 acres protect: important floodplain wetlands; habitat for a variety of wildlife species including three of special concern; and provide public access for pedestrians and snowmobilers on the maintained trail.
In summary, the Poverty Plains parcel contains forest, active harvesting, a snowmobile trail, and is bordered by Schoodac Brook and associated wetlands.The Knights Meadow Marsh parcel contains forest, Knights Meadow Brook (tributary of Schoodac Brook), and downstream from the marsh are the remains of an old mill built at the stream edge and an old dam. The Remainder Farm parcel contains forest, active harvesting and a snowmobile trail.
No working landscape project like this could succeed without multiple funding sources, which include NH Fish & Game’s Landowners Incentive Program, The Towns of Warner & Webster, The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation, the Courser Family, and many private donors.
*A reserved right within the Courser Farm Phase 3 conservation easement has been exercised on two of the three parcels. The 146-acre parcel on Connors Mill Road and the 185-acre parcel on Poverty Plains Road, have each had an allowed three-acre house lot withdrawn, which was a provision put into the easement by the landowners. The total acreage for the three lots within this easement is now 434 acres.