The Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Create Tucker Mountain Town Forest
UPDATE: WE DID IT!!!! Tucker Mountain Town Forest is now owned by the Town of Newbury. Thank you to all who made this possible! Read more here.
The Town of Newbury has a one-time opportunity to acquire and establish a 635-acre Tucker Mountain Town Forest.
Members of the Leach family, who have allowed access to Tucker Mountain for over four decades, are selling their forestland on both sides of Tucker Mountain Road. They generously offered it to the town at half of fair market value.
The citizens of Newbury have voted to accept the offer and create a new town forest.
Thanks to the generosity of several private foundations and Town Forest supporters, there is just $45,000 left to raise and the Town of Newbury will be able to acquire the land and create a town forest!
The Town Forest will offer:
Public access for recreational uses such as hiking, skiing, hunting, picnicking, and snowmobiling.
Revenue generated from timber harvesting and maple tapping.
Improved protection of wetlands and the West Branch of Halls Brook, ensuring clean water and healthy brook trout habitat.
Continued use by Newbury Elementary school and more opportunities for ecological education and natural resource management training.
A new protected habitat link between the Connecticut River Valley and more remote forested regions to the northwest.
A block of 1,200 acres of permanently conserved and geographically diverse land that will help wildlife and plants adapt to a changing climate.
Enjoyment of a well-loved place with a scenic open meadow and long-distance views in almost all directions.
How much will it cost?
The Leach family generously offered to sell their land at substantially less than fair market value. As a result, the total amount needed to establish the Town Forest is $461,000—including buying the land and costs for appraisals, timber inventories, legal expenses, and stewardship. We have secured a total of $416,000, leaving just $45,000 left to raise.
Because of the ecological and recreational value of this land, most of the funds (90%) needed have already been raised. Many generous funders have made financial commitments including:
The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Open Space Institute Community Forest Fund, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and the Vermont Land Trust’s forestland conservation fund.
Last November, Newbury voters committed $25,000 in town funds to buy the forest. We need your help to raise the remaining funds!
Photo and slideshow by Tom Kidder