Sale of Greenough Ponds to state finalized

WENTWORTHS LOCATION – The sale of Greenough Ponds to N.H. Fish and Game was finalized this week.
Considered two of the state's best trout ponds, Greenough Ponds are in a 934-acre property that the Trust for Public Land bought for $2.475 million and then sold it to the state.
"Greenough Pond and Little Greenough Pond are two of the only three remaining wild trout ponds in the state and they offer some of the best trout fishing in New Hampshire," said Rodger Krussman, New Hampshire director of TPL.
The state will create a new Greenough Ponds State Wildlife Management Area that will be open to the public for fishing and hunting. The property is also popular for snowmobiling, with more than three miles of state-maintained snowmobile trails.
"Protection of the Greenough Ponds is a high priority because it secures access for anglers, hunters, snowmobilers and paddlers in one of the most pristine locations in the state," said Glenn Normandeau, executive director of N.H. Fish and Game.
The ponds were purchased from Plum Creek as part of the Androscoggin Headwaters Conservation Initiative.
The $2.475 million to pay for the Greenough property came from a variety of sources, including $650,000 from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program; $600,000 from the Open Space Institute; $300,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Acres for America Program; $100,000 from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; and other public and private money. NH Fish and Game contributed $675,000 to the acquisition from the Department's fisheries and wildlife habitat accounts and the Granite Reliable Power wind farm mitigation fund.
Overall since 2007, the Androscoggin Headwater Conservation Initiative has raised over $14.2 million to protect 31,000 acres of land in the Androscoggin headwaters. Over 70 percent of that land will remain in Plum Creek ownership and in timber production.
"The goal is to ensure sustainable working timberlands, protect water quality and wildlife habitat, and expand access to public recreation lands – benefiting not only the local communities in northern New Hampshire, but the thousands of visitors to the region every year," said Krussman.
Earlier, 7,400 acres had been purchased using federal Land and Water Conservation Funds for addition to the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. Federal Forest Legacy Funds have been awarded to purchase conservation easements on another 23,000 acres of Plum Creek land. When the easements are finalized, Plum Creek land will retain ownership and produce timber from the land but will be prohibited from developing it.
"Plum Creek has helped conserve more than 1 million acres nationwide, and we are pleased to partner to conserve this New Hampshire land that has exceptional ecological, wildlife and recreational values," said Paul Davis, vice president of Plum Creek's Northern Hardwood region. "We recognize the efforts of The Trust for Public Land and the State of New Hampshire in making this conservation project successful."