Easton, NH — 843 acres completed
The 843-acre Cooley-Jericho Community Forest is owned by the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust on behalf of four communities, Easton, Sugar Hill, Franconia, and Landaff. This ridge-top forest was on the verge of being developed—plans had been submitted to the Planning Board for subdivision and a wind farm—when the land trust engaged the owner in the idea of creating a Community Forest instead.
Now the forest continues to provide a much-loved scenic view from each of the four town centers, and plans are underway for recreational trails and long term stewardship of its natural resources. The Community Forest is community owned, locally controlled, and conserved forever.
The Community Forest encompasses Cooley Hill and Cole Hill in Easton and sweeps down toward the Jericho area of Landaff. It is one of the largest, highest elevation, parcels in the area. It’s adjacent to the White Mountain National Forest and to other conservation lands, making it a key place for wildlife and for recreational trails. From the land itself, the views are unequaled. The Center helped create the Community Forest’s governance structure—unique in the country—which includes all four towns and the local land trust.
"Without guidance and support from the Center’s staff, we would not have made such rapid progress in forming this unusual partnership of four towns and multiple interests to create the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest."