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Tuftonboro Conservation Commission receives LCHIP grant

Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) Board Chair Amanda Merrill, LCHIP Ex. Dir. Dijit Taylor, Gov. Chris Sununu, Representative Bill Marsh, Environmental Consultant Rick Van de Poll, Tuftonboro Conservation Commission Chairman Steve Wingate and Tuftonboro Selectman Lloyd Wood gather at the Dec. 7 award ceremony. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
December 12, 2018
TUFTONBORO — A steady commitment to stewardship of Tuftonboro's Great Meadows property by the Tuftonboro Conservation Commission (TCC) has led to its latest success, an award on December 7 from the state's Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) of $72,500.

The grant, supported with a matching grant of $76,500 from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services' Aquatic Resources Mitigation fund and $6,000 from the Tuftonboro/Wolfeboro Land Bank, completes the funding necessary to expand town ownership of the 500 acre wetland from the present 242 acres to 382 acres, says TCC Chairman Steve Wingate.

"The LCHIP award will enable the Town of Tuftonboro to protect critical wetlands and wildlife habitat while also opening the property for new trails and recreation," he adds.

The TCC has established a clear plan that includes prioritized land acquisition goals to protect the extensive, pristine aquifer that lies below the surface. These two grants make it possible to acquire two parcels right "in the center of the target," enthuses Wingate.

The 42 projects receiving matching grants from LCHIP are spread all across the state. Sixteen natural resource conservation projects will be supported by $2 million while twenty-six historic resource projects will receive $1.9 million, all in matching grants.

Historic resource projects will help with rehabilitation of structures ranging in date from 1721 (Ladd-Gilman House, Exeter) to 1916 (Whitcomb Hall, Swanzey).

The natural resource projects will ensure permanent protection of more than 13,000 acres in parcels ranging from ten acres in Durham to over 6,000 acres in Gorham.

Grant recipients are required to provide at least one matching dollar from another source for every dollar received from the state through LCHIP. This year, they will provide more than $3.70 for each state dollar. The smallest grant is $7,500 for a planning study to help the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts explore what is needed to convert the former Shrine of Our Lady of Grace into a cultural and arts center. The largest grant of $350,000 will help the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire create the Birch Ridge Community Forest in New Durham.

Prior to this year's grant awards listed here, since its inception in 2000, the program has provided 425 grants which have helped to conserve more than 280,000 acres of land for food production, water quality, ecological values, timber management and recreation including hunting and fishing and supported 257 projects in all parts of the state to rehabilitate historic structures and sites. LCHIP grants are supported by fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state. For more information, visit lchip.org or call 224-4113.

Varney Smith
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