CONTACT:
Jillian Kelly or Will Staats, (603) 788-3164
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
April 14, 2006

NEW! Connecticut Lakes Natural Area Stewardship Plan: Click here for Plan downloads


Public Input Sought on Draft Connecticut Lakes Natural Area Stewardship Plan

LANCASTER, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will present a draft of the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area Stewardship Plan to the public at an open house on April 28, 2006, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pittsburg Fire Station on Route 3 in Pittsburg, N.H. The open house is not a traditional public meeting, but an informal opportunity for Fish and Game staff to share information with the public, and for people to provide feedback.

The Department will also make a formal presentation of the draft document to the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Citizen Advisory Committee at its meeting on April 29, 2006, at 10 a.m. at the Pittsburg Fire Station.

The Connecticut Lakes Natural Area (CLNA) Stewardship Plan is a requirement of the Conservation Easement held by The Nature Conservancy, which deeded the property to Fish and Game in December of 2002. Once it is approved, the Stewardship Plan will serve as the guiding document for the management of the 25,000-acre natural area in Pittsburg and Clarksville, N.H.

N.H. Fish and Game welcomes input on the draft at both the open house and the Citizens Advisory Committee meeting. Copies of the draft Stewardship Plan will be available for public review at the Pittsburg and Clarksville libraries and on the Fish and Game website on or before April 24, 2006.

For more information contact:
Jillian Kelly (jkelly@nhfgd.org) or Will Staats (wstaats@nhfgd.org)
N.H. Fish and Game Region 1
(603) 788-3164

The Connecticut Lakes Natural Area, based on stipulations in the Conservation Easement, has been divided into two areas. The first is the 14,995-acre Nature Preserve that is located entirely east of Route 3 in the vicinity of East Inlet and Scott Bog. Unlike any other New Hampshire Fish and Game ownership, this portion of the property is dedicated to undergo natural vegetation succession without human intervention. Natural resource managers, scientists, and the public have recognized that there is value in retaining large-scale ecosystems unmanipulated by humans.

The primary purposes of the Nature Preserve include:

  • monitoring landscape changes that occur naturally over time;
  • having a "control" or reference to evaluate and improve our understanding of the impacts of human land uses on natural ecosystems; and
  • establishing reserves capable of supporting the full array of local and regional biodiversity that are large enough to withstand natural and anthropogenic disturbances over time.

The second area is the 10,005-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This area will be actively managed for the variety of wildlife species and habitats native to the Connecticut Lakes region (especially those identified by state or federal agencies as species of conservation concern or regional significance). Active forest management, both commercial and non-commercial, will be used to manipulate the vegetation to achieve goals intended to enhance native wildlife populations and habitat while protecting and complementing the purposes of the Nature Preserve. To achieve management goals and objectives, the WMA has been broken into smaller Operating Units, which are discussed at length in the plan.

Traditional uses including hunting, fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling (within designated areas) are still an integral part of the Nature Preserve and the WMA. New Hampshire Fish and Game works to ensure that the public will continue to enjoy a quality outdoor experience that this remarkable land base provides.

"It has been through the foresight of The Nature Conservancy and the hard work of the public and private partners, that the CLNA will continue to provide a scenic and enjoyable place for all to enjoy," said Jillian Kelly, a Fish and Game wildlife biologist who serves as the land steward for the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area.

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