Poised for a big boost

August 04, 2010

A public-private partnership of conservation groups in New Hampshire and Massachusetts is in line for a federal funding boost next year, according to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Shaheen, D-N.H., announced Tuesday that $282,000 for the Quabbin to Cardigan Conservation Initiative has been included in the federal agriculture department's 2011 budget by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill will now move on to the Senate for approval.

The Quabbin to Cardigan partnership launched in 2003. It includes 27 groups working on conservation across a 2 million-acre tract, stretching across north central Massachusetts from the Quabbin Reservoir through western New Hampshire to the White Mountains.

Twenty-eight Monadnock Region communities, including Keene, Peterborough, Swanzey and Winchester, fall in the area covered by the partnership.

The partnership is accepting applications for its second round of grant funding, which helps pay for conservation projects in the area. If approved by the Senate, the federal money would support another round of funding.

A plan completed in 2007 identifies about 600,000 acres that is considered "core conservation areas."

In 2009, the partnership awarded $215,000 to 13 projects in New Hampshire that conserved 6,900 acres, according to partnership officials.

Several Monadnock Region communities and organizations, including the Hancock-based Harris Center for Conservation Education and the Monadnock Conservancy, were among those that received grants.

Grants through the partnership last year helped cover expenses for Monadnock Conservancy projects at Otter Brook Farm in Peterborough and property on Prentice Hill and along Warren Brook in Alstead, according to Anne McBride, conservation project manager for the group.

The Conservancy is working with town officials in Swanzey and Marlborough on two more conservation projects funded by the project, she said.


By:  Casey Farrar
Source: Keene Sentinel