This property blends excellent forestry management with conservation easements to create an award winning private and public land legacy. The Webb family - Van Webb, his wife Robin, their four children and Van's father Richard (Dick) - has a long history as land stewards.
Dick Webb began his family's extraordinary commitment to long-term forest management in 1948 on his newly purchased 370 acres in Sunapee. Now his son Van, daughter-in-law Robin, and his grandchildren continue his stewardship ethic through their hands-on management and forestry work on nearly 3,000 acres of woodland in Sunapee, New London, and Springfield. The family has placed 2,300 acres in conservation easements.
This commitment to long-term management over short term gain lead Dick Webb to grant the first conservation easement in NH in 1967 to the New London Conservation Commission. To the original gift of 703 acres located at the north end of Pleasant Lake, Dick and his family have added 224 acres in 1970 and 80 acres in 1981 - creating over 1,000 acres of protected forest now filled with wonderful hiking trails developed by the New London Conservation Commission.
In 2000, all 370 acres of the R.H. Webb Forest Preserve in Sunapee were protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement which was granted to the Town of Sunapee. Ausbon Sargent worked hand-in-hand with the Sunapee Conservation Commission to complete the easement. Certainly this family represents the best of our landowners - managing, conserving and sharing family land resources now and for future generations to create a truly living legacy.
In June of 2020, an additional 6.1 acres were added to this conservation easement, which was donated by Van Webb, R.H. Webb Forest Preserve, LLC. The total acreage of the Webb Forest Preserve is now 376.1. The additional acreage shares many of the same attributes as the entire piece; prime agricultural soils, highly ranked for wildlife, scenic views from Stagecoach Road, and is open to the public for low impact recreation.
This property was named NH Outstanding Tree Farm of the year in 2000. Trails on the property include those for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The Sunape-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) goes through this property as well. Parking is available on Harding Hill Road. A trail map from the Town of Sunapee's website can be found here.
The Town of Sunapee Conservation Commission holds the easement on this property. Ausbon Sargent is the (back-up) executory interest holder, however we monitor and enforce the terms of the conservation easement.