Milan, NH — 265 acres acquired; more in progress
In April 2016, the town of Milan acquired 265 acres and established the Milan Community Forest, the first step toward its goal of some day owning and managing 5,000 acres of forestland. Residents decided to create a Community Forest to support their local economy based on healthy forest management, and to honor the town's historical, cultural and economic ties to the forest.
“This has been a long time coming and we couldn’t be more excited,” said George Pozzuto, chair of the Milan Community Forest Committee. “The Milan Community Forest Committee has been working for four years to acquire land. Owning our own productive timberland and important recreation land will bring so many benefits to Milan."
The Center and the Trust for Public Land are continuing to help Milan residents identify new parcels to combine with existing town-owned land to expand the Community Forest.
The Community Forest is owned by and for the people of Milan and permanently conserved for future generations. The core property, located on Oak Hill just east of the Androscoggin River, and other other town-owned parcels provide economic benefits to the community through timber revenue and jobs in the forest products, tourism, and recreation industries. The forest also provides outdoor education and recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat protection, and cultural resource protection.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Milan played an important role in the Androscoggin Valley’s forest industry, feeding sawmills and pulp mills, and providing workers in the forest and in the mills, while the river itself ferried logs downstream. Since the late 1990s, changes in the forest industry and the local economy have hit the community hard: local forestland has changed ownership multiple times, and the quality of forest management declined.
The town sees its new Community Forest as an important new way to support the local economy based on the natural landscape.