For three years, the Center has been working with UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions on a comprehensive inventory of all town owned land in the state. The survey portion of the project is complete and reveals some impressive statistics:

  • New Hampshire towns own 1,435 forested parcels that are 10 acres or more in size.
  • Town-owned properties cover 158,455 acres, equal to 3% of New Hampshire's forested land. (For comparison, Vermont communities own about 70,000 acres of forestland.)
  • Most town land (63%) is being managed for multiple uses including wildlife habitat, recreation, water or wetland protection, timber production and education.
  • 109,660 acres (69%) are permanently protected, which is considerably more than we anticipated.

Milan County Foresters Tour NH town forest inventory program update 2.6.18For three years, the Center has been working with UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions on a comprehensive inventory of all town owned land in the state of New Hampshire.  We aim to increase the amount of municipally owned land and maximize the benefits realized from locally-owned, sustainably-managed public lands.

Many towns own forestland, though not all are taking initiative to set social, fiscal, economic and conservation goals. The inventory used the Community Forest model as a basis for analysis on missed opportunities for community benefit. Community Forests are town-owned land that are permanently protected, have careful stewardship plans to realize community benefit, and are shaped by local decision making. 

The Northern Forest Center helped Lancaster, New Hampshire create a new brochure to highlight outdoor activities for residents and visitors. The new brochure will help residents take advantage of local outdoor amenities, and set them up to be good ambassadors for visitors. It answers the question: “What is there to do around here?”

The U.S. Forest Service awarded the Town of Milan $400,000 to help create the first phase of the Milan Community Forest, which will encompass 1,342 acres. The Community Forest is planned to provide the local community with outdoor recreation and education opportunities.