In June, the Harris Center closed on the purchase of the 515-acre Granite Lake Headwaters property in Stoddard, ensuring its permanent protection.
This parcel contains two headwater streams that flow under Route 9, into Nye Meadow, and on to Granite Lake in Stoddard and Nelson. In 2013, the land was purchased by a company that conducted extensive onsite timber operations. During that period of intensive road building and timber harvesting, sediment washed from the property into Granite Lake, raising concerns about water quality at that popular swimming, fishing, and boating spot.
Protection of this property – which was the largest unprotected parcel in the Granite Lake watershed – raises the proportion of conserved land in the watershed to 30 percent. In addition, the Headwaters parcel connects with a 2,278-acre corridor of conserved lands stretching from Spoonwood Pond in Nelson to Route 9 in Stoddard, providing room to roam for people and wildlife alike. Moose, bear, bobcat, otter, fox, fisher, coyote, deer, turkey, and many other species have been documented on the Headwaters property.
A black bear walks past a trail cam on the Granite Lake Headwaters property. (photo © Taylor White)
One of three moose documented by trail cams during a wildlife survey of the Granite Lake Headwaters property. (photo © Taylor White)
Under Harris Center ownership, the land will be managed for wildlife habitat and forest health, with special attention to downstream water quality.
This important land protection project was made possible by grants from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund and the Quabbin to Cardigan (Q2C) Partnership, as well as generous donations from individuals in the Granite Lake community and many Friends of the SuperSanctuary. Thank you, all!