The Androscoggin River. Photo courtesy of Larry Ely.

REGION — Two more grants from New Hampshire-based programs helped the Mahoosuc Land Trust recently complete its purchase of the 861-acre Shelburne Riverlands from Bayroot LLC. MLT officially closed on the land on April 2.

The MLT received a $125,000 grant from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and a $761,668 grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Program. In the press release, it stated that MLT got additional help from several individuals and businesses, on top of a $200,000 grant they got from the Randolph Area Conservation Opportunity Fund last fall. Shelburne, NH residents also chipped in a land donation, totaling the number of acres to 880.

The Shelburne Riverlands Project will conserve 861 acres of land located on an 8.7 mile stretch of the Androscoggin River. Thirty islands and nine mainland parcels located on the 8.7 mile section of river will receive permanent protection. The project also hopes to protect 14 miles of river shoreline, along with an additional four miles of inland stream frontage.

“We are truly appreciative of the significant investments of LCHIP and ARM,” Executive Director of MLT Kirk Siegel said. “The wild and scenic nature of this section of river makes it a favorite of paddlers and anglers, while the wetland resource is outstanding.”

“For many, this stretch of the Androscoggin has been one of those places where you can disappear for a couple hours in a canoe and feel like you are in a wilderness.  It’s got everything: Presidential mountain views, quiet channels between islands, quickwater, and the occasional unexpected moose,” Siegel added.

“The Shelburne Riverlands contains enormous and critical conservation, recreation, and community values,” New Hampshire and Vermont Representative for The Conservation Fund, Sally Manikian said. “The Androscoggin River is a defining feature of Shelburne, and it was meaningful for myself and The Fund to play a role in furthering the protection of this valuable community asset.”

Manikian is also a Shelburne resident.

According to the press release, the riverlands project includes silver maple floodplain forests braided with oxbow and flood channel wetlands, and interspersed grasslands along miles of river and stream shoreline. These rich natural communities host wildlife species of conservation concern and connect hundreds of thousands of acres of intact forests across the Androscoggin. The ARM Fund Program was particularly appropriate for the Riverlands project, due to these important wetland values.

“Now that MLT has acquired the Riverlands, Shelburne residents will guide management through a special advisory committee created by the land trust. In addition, MLT will work with the Shelburne Trails Club to enhance public access and connect to the existing Shelburne Trails system,” said Ginger Lawson, one of the people overseeing the project.

The project was announced in June of 2020.

To learn more about the project people can visit  www.mahoosuc.org.

 

 

 

 

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