Conserved, Spring 2019
West Rattlesnake – Bridle Trail Lot Area

Protecting trail networks in the Squam watershed is a high priority for the Conservation Society. West Rattlesnake, with over 70,000 hiker visits a year, is the most popular hike in the Squam Region. Two of the trails, the Old Bridle Trail and the Undercut Trail, are located on a 12-acre tract owned by Rockywold-Deephaven Camps (RDC) in Holderness, NH.

In May 2019, SLCS and RDC recorded a Conservation and Trail Easement to protect this key parcel lying between SLA’s Rattlesnake parking area on Route 113 and the UNH-owned Armstrong Natural Area leading up to the peak of West Rattlesnake Mountain. In addition to ensuring public access to the trails, conservation features include the protection of 545 feet of undeveloped land along Route 113, three natural-spring
wells, and the upper watershed of the clear-running Bennett Brook leading into Big Squam Lake. Funding for this bargain sale purchase came from generous SLCS donors as part of the Squam Uplands Initiative to conserve the upper reaches of land in the Squam watershed.


Conserved, Spring 2019
Coolidge Farm

Coolidge Farm is a classic New England farmhouse located in Sandwich Bay in the northeast section of Big Squam Lake. Formerly the main dwelling of the 350-acre Samuel Smith Farm, which included Fore Point, Long Point and many miles of lake frontage, it was acquired in 1893 by Coolidge family members who had attended Camp Asquam, the nation’s first boy’s camp. Called Upper Asquam Farms, it was the first country estate at Squam. In the 1950’s through the mid-70’s, Judy Coolidge operated a high volume chicken farm, with as many as 20,000 chickens producing eggs and meat.

Coolidge Farm, now six acres with a restored farm house, small cottage, large barn, and 515’ of shore land, is presently owned by the Coolidge Farm Preservation Trust (CFPT). In February 2019, the CFPT donated a conservation easement to the Conservation Society protecting 4.3 acres of land, including all of the shorefront. This scenic property is very visible, situated across the Town of Sandwich Beach. We are grateful to the CFPT Trustees and Coolidge family members for protecting this iconic property.




Conserved, Fall 2018
Kimball Island

The Town of Center Harbor recently assigned its primary status as conservation easement holder protecting the majority of Kimball Island over to SLCS, switching our roles as primary and secondary enforcers of the conservation easement granted by the Derr family in 1978. “This situation represented a potential risk to the Town, and SLCS’s proposal essentially transfers the monitoring and enforcement responsibility to the min return for a donation to create a stewardship fund. I think there is great benefit to the Town in resolving this,” said Harry Viens, Chair of the Center Harbor Select Board.  Pete Helm, SLCS Stewardship Director, replied, “Given the decades of monitoring SLCS has undertaken on behalf of the Town, it makes sense for us to formally take on the legal responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the conservation easement.” Most important is that the Town of Center Harbor, all the members of the Derr Family, and SLCS are on the same page to protect the conservation values of a key property in the middle of Big Squam Lake.


Conserved, Fall 2018
Harris Woods II

The permanent protection of this 7 acre tract off Newman Road adjacent to and draining into Squam Lake is another step forward in the conservation of the southern slopes of the lake. The parcel has been “merged” with the original “Harris Woods” tract, creating a combined area of 17 protected acres at the head of Dog Cove.  The gift of the conservation easements came from Chip and Wendy Harris.

Conserved, Fall 2018
Skip Lot


This 12-acre property lies along the northeast shoreline of Bear or Otter Cove in Squam Lake.  In 1988, a conservation easement on the 74.5 acre “Otter Cove” tract was donated by Roger Coolidge.  The original easement reserved the right for the development of a 12 acre lot.  The donation of an “Additional Conservation Easement” by Skip Coolidge, Roger Coolidge’s grandson, helps ensure that any future development on the property will conserve its exemplary forest and shoreland and will be in keeping with the other protected properties in the area.

The parcel contains 330’ of shoreland with massive hemlock and pine trees, an intermittent stream along the northerly border, and several large sugar maples not far from the site of the former Coolidge sugar house, which has been out of commission for at least fifty years.  We look forward to working with the new owners.


Conserved, Fall 2018
First Light and High Heaven

The protection of upland watershed habitat has been a top conservation priority. First Light (64ac.) and High Heaven (45 ac.) are the latest conservation easements protecting the south facing slope of the Squam Range in Sandwich. Bob and Judy Fowski have been exemplary stewards of this property for several years, restoring the stonewall-enclosed fields on the lower portion of the property. The house and Thompson Cemetery on the unrestricted property date back to around 1800. The mature forest is exceptional upland habitat for a wide variety of furbearers and includes a patch of old growth oaks and sugar maples and at least two state-listed rare plants (squaw-root and three-bird orchid).

The conserved areas protect almost 2,000’ of the upper tributary of Thompson Brook, which flowsinto Intervale Pond and then Squaw Cove, and over 1,000’ along the Class VI Thompson Road,the same road as our Doublehead and EastmanBrook Preserves.

The project was funded through the Squam UplandsInitiative and two anonymous donors.


Conserved, Spring 2018
Mick Stanley Preserve,  Smith’s Brook, Holderness, NH

Smith’s Brook is the largest tributary feeding into Big Squam Lake.  Its conservation value cannot be overestimated, with native brook trout, salmon fry, and extensive wetlands.  In 1964, Edward and Marion Stanley bought a 20-acre parcel bisected by Smith’s Brook and built a small rustic cabin.  Located on the south side of Route 113 with a small bridge spanning the perennial stream, this land served as a mecca for a quiet and special get-away for them and their three children for many years.

With the goal of protecting Smith’s Brook with its wetlands, and a quarter mile on scenic Route 113, the Squam Lakes Conservation Society (SLCS) is looking to purchase the 20-acre Stanley Preserve property at a price consistent with an appraisal for $75,000.  The property is near the Allen Preserve, Eastman Brook Preserve, Armstrong Natural Area, Smith’s Brook Conservation Area, and across from Burleigh’s Squam Range conservation area.



Conserved, Fall 2017
Richards-Coolidge Conservation Area

We are very pleased to announce that Anne Richards and John Coolidge have donated a Conservation Easement permanently protecting 75 acres of their farm on the east and west sides of Hicks Hill Road in Ashland. This critical field, forest and wetland area shares common boundary with our Whitten Woods and Pedersen Conservation Areas. It increases a total contiguous protected area to nearly 1000 acres, supports wildlife, including wide ranging species, and facilitates large-scale ecological processes!
In addition to exceptional habitat for a wide range of forest and field birds and mammals, the Richards-Coolidge easement conserves over one mile of clear-running steams with eastern brook trout, blacknose dace, and a host of aquatic macro-invertebrates. Protection of these streams is essential to the downstream health of Owl Brook, a major tributary of the Squam River.
Ann and John have long been supporters of conservation in the Squam watershed, and have turned this support into direct action by this superb gift.


Conserved, Fall 2017
Eastman Brook Preserve

The Squam Lakes Conservation Society has purchased a key 90-acre parcel known as the Eastman Brook Preserve in Sandwich, NH. Comprised of two parcels (86 & 4acres) with a half-mile of road frontage on scenic Route 113, this acquisition bridges two existing conservation areas, Doublehead Preserve on Thompson road with Allen Preserve on Route 113, protects the ridgeline from development, and safeguards Eastman Brook, an important tributary at the head of Squam Cove. It also serves as encouragement for the conservation of other nearby lands.
Leo Dwyer and his wife Kathryn Field, agreed to a bargain-sale of this property. Funding for this project came from the Squam Uplands Initiative, a matching grant from a major donor, contributions from the Squam Lakes Association and Rockywold Deephaven Camps, and donations from thirty-eight generous donors.


Conserved, Spring 2017
Ashland Conservation Projects – Pederson

The 78 acre Pedersen tract in Ashland, also known as the MacDonald Farm, shares a  common boundary with Whitten Woods. It now also shares a similar conservation stratedy.  In partnership with the New England Forestry Foundation, who holds the fee title while we hold the conservation easement, the land was purchased on March 7, 2017 from Cecilia Pedersen, owner of the property since 1989.  the only remaining building from its days as an active hillside farm was the barn, which was not salvageable, so it was removed.  While the forest will take time and effort before it is once again healthy and productive, this property provides additional access to the Whitten Woods parcel while adding to the block of managed habitat that is approaching a thousand acres.  This project was another of the now completed Squam Uplands projects.


Conserved, Spring 2017

In December 2016, SLCS member and friend Robert Haring-Smith donated a conservation easement permanently protecting all of his 12 acre forested lot located off Owl Brook.  This tract connects Highland Street in Ashland to the Pedersen Property uphill. We have been giving special emphasis to lots which connect with other protected lands in order to achieve wildlife and water quality connectivity on a larger scale. Among other features, our ecological investigations established that the Haring-Smith and Pedersen properties contains hardwood habitat supporting Pseudofistulina radicata, a very rare and unusual mushroom species, which is now one of twelve recorded locations in North America.

Conserved, Fall 2016
Burleigh-Owl Brook

Many thanks to Burleigh Land Limited Partnership for the contribution of a conservation easement protecting 47 acres on Owl Brook, adjacent to Perch Pond Road in Holderness. This donation complements abutting forest land previously conserved by Burleigh. With 2,600 feet of frontage on pristine Owl Brook, a clear running cold water trout stream flowing from Mt. Prospect, this is indeed an important step in land and water conservation of the northern slope of Squam. Among other features, the Burleigh-Owl Brook Conservation Area contains a significant vernal pool wetland, and supports a wide variety of wildlife. Bird species identified include the regionally uncommon willow flycatcher, the declining Canada warbler, and the rose-breasted grosbeak, a species alarmingly absent from the 2016 spring breeding bird census. The valuable wetland floodplain filters road and development runoff, and provides stream access for animals moving from the upslope areas of the protected Burleigh working forest. The conservation easement terms allow forestry activities consistent with a forest management plan, and will be managed sustainably by a professional forester in conjunction with the other Burleigh lands.


Conserved, Fall 2016
Angier-Livermore Cove

We are pleased to report the permanent protection by conservation easement of a significant tract of high quality wetland and forest in Holderness, between Rt. 113 and Squam. This 12-acre tract, to be known as Angier-Livermore Cove after the family of the donor, Susan Beeson, has over 300 feet of frontage on Squam and an extensive wetland extending far inland. In addition to providing habitat for an extraordinary range of plants and animals (42 bird species identified including the state recognized declining brown thrasher), the wetland acts to filter highway and upland runoff and traps sediments before entering the lake. Angier Livermore Cove is especially significant as a buffer to the adjacent Holderness Town Beach. In addition, the easement provides for relocation of existing shoreline septic systems to an upland area adjacent to Route 113, further protecting water quality. When asked why they put this parcel into conservation, Susan said, “We have two grandchildren who love the lake. We want it to be here for them and all future generations.”