Friday, September 26, 2008

Four Corners Farm Tour

Saturday October 18th, 1-4PM

Travel to this diversified family farm in South Newbury, VT, with Co-op Sustainability Coordinator, Emily Neuman, and Upper Valley Land Trust President, Jeanie McIntyre.

Four Corners Farm produces a wide variety of vegetables along with an assortment of berries. Their specialties are strawberries (which they have sold to the co-op for many years) and delicious greenhouse tomatoes. They also have a herd of Jersey milk cows.

Join us and meet the Grays as they lead a tour of their operation and explain how the Upper Valley Land Trust helped them to conserve the land on which they farm.
A carpool will leave from the Lebanon Cafe Annex at 1pm, or meet us there at 1:45pm!

Register for the trip by stopping by either of the Co-op’s Service Desks, or call at (603) 643-2667.

Directions to the Farm:
Take 91 to exit 16, VT-25 toward Bradford/US-5. After .3 miles, turn right at VT-25/Waits River Rd (signs for Bradford) follow this for .5 miles. Turn left at Lower Plain/US-5 & Continue to follow US-5 for five miles. Take a slight left at Doe Hill Rd to arrive at the farm.
For more information contact the Upper Valley Land Trust at (603) 643-6626 or

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pegjack Memorial Forest Dedication

Tom Aldrich stands by Pegjack Forest's ancient New England Memorial Fence Post during the dedication ceremony on September 21, 2008.

Open House and Hike

James Thaxton
(603) 643-6626 ext. 111



Newport, NH—When landowner Igor Blake contacted the Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) in 2007 to express his desire to conserve his Newport property, UVLT recognized an extraordinary opportunity. Now Blake and UVLT, a regional land conservancy based in Hanover, invite the public to visit the land they conserved -- 310 acres with Sugar River frontage, open fields and forests, and a portion of the rail trail. This is UVLT’s first land conservation project in Newport.

Everyone is invited to join the Upper Valley Land Trust and Igor Blake for an Open House and Hike on Saturday, October 4th at 2PM. Sullivan County Forester, Chuck Hersey, will lead the hike beginning at the historic homestead, located on the discontinued end of Endicott Road, now 456 Oak Street. In addition to the hike, the homestead will also be open for visitors. Meet Blake, UVLT staff and stakeholders for conversations focused primarily on land use and community values. This is a unique opportunity for community members to learn more about the property and to have questions about land conservation and stewardship answered. Everyone is welcome, RSVP not required, but responses will help in planning for refreshments. Call the Upper Valley Land Trust at (603) 643-6626.

Blake’s forest has been a designated Tree Farm since Mr. Blake’s mother registered it as such in 1970. According to the UNH Extension Service, “A Tree Farm is a privately owned forest managed to produce timber with added benefits of improved wildlife habitat, water quality, recreation, and scenic values.” In managing his working forest, Blake has worked with Chuck Hersey, Sullivan County Forester, and Shaun Lagueux of New England Forestry Consultants. Blake has a comprehensive forest management plan in place.

Recently, Hersey nominated Blake for next year’s Tree Farmer of the Year Award. This is an award that is given annually by the New Hampshire Tree Farm Committee, New Hampshire’s branch of the national Tree Farm System, managed by the American Forest Foundation. The award recognizes tree farmers who have proven to be good stewards of their land. In Blake’s case this means that he has worked with licensed foresters to responsibly harvest his timber; as Hersey explains this is a renewable resource that goes directly into the local economy. Hersey states that 80% of New Hampshire’s land is forested and 70% of that forested land is privately owned. This means that the choices these landowners make can have large implications for future generations.

Hersey points out that Blake has as much timber left to harvest as has previously been removed. In addition to sustainable forestry, Blake has maintained some open fields and apple trees which make good habitat for deer and turkeys. Blake has also been willing to try new management techniques. Recently, he undertook a project to control invasive species on his property: Glossy Buckthorn and Japanese Barberry. Hersey applauds Blake for all of his efforts in maintaining his Tree Farm, however he seemed most impressed by Blake’s “biggest act of stewardship:” the donation of the conservation easement on his property. This will permanently contribute to Newport’s rural landscape and to that of the region as a whole.

Other features of Mr. Blake’s property consist of frontage on the Sugar River, including frontage along a renowned trout fishing area. In addition, part of the property makes up a section of the Sugar River Trail, which is know as one of New Hampshire's premier recreational rail trails, running from Newport to Claremont. All of this is less than two miles from the center of Newport; Mr. Blake’s land has been protected from encroaching development so that future generations can continue to enjoy it.

The Upper Valley Land Trust works to protect farmland, forest, water resources, wildlife habitat, trails and scenic areas that are vital to the character of the Vermont and New Hampshire communities of the Upper Valley. Founded in 1985, the Upper Valley Land Trust is a non-profit organization supported primarily by local contributors. For more information please visit or contact Upper Valley Land Trust at 603-643-6626 or

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Pegjack Memorial Forest Dedication

Peg Merrens
(603) 643-6626 ext. 112



On August 5, 2008, Tom Aldrich presented the Upper Valley Land Trust with the largest outright donation of land in its 23-year history. The gift establishes the 97-acre Pegjack Memorial Forest on Turnpike Road in Thetford, Vermont, and was inspired by Tom’s wife, Peggy Peck Aldrich (1941-2007) and their grandson Jacob Thomas Fried (1999-2008) as a way to honor their deep love of nature and animals.

Please join the Thetford Conservation Commission, the Upper Valley Land Trust and Tom Aldrich for a dedication event on Sunday, September 21st at 2PM. Walkers will enjoy a fall tour of the Thetford forest; from the dedication site, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the view of the Connecticut River Valley.

Tom Aldrich originally purchased the land in Thetford thinking that he would move north from his home in Falmouth, MA. However, he changed his mind, “I realized that having been partly responsible for the development and intrusion into a natural place on Cape Cod, and then to leave that intrusion to create another intrusion into a natural place in rural Vermont, and settle there, was self-indulgent, wrong-headed environmental citizenship.” So, with an eye towards the land’s preservation, Tom has chosen to hand over the property to UVLT. Aldrich says, “I am confident that the Upper Valley Land Trust is constituted, staffed, and has the skill and vision to maintain the Pegjack Forest.”

“The Upper Valley Land Trust is honored and excited to accept this gift of ownership,” says UVLT President, Jeanie McIntyre. “As the Upper Valley grows and changes, land for quiet recreation, the places where people can observe and connect to the natural world, are critically important. The Pegjack Forest is just the kind of property that belongs in trust for human and natural communities.”

McIntyre says that UVLT has been working with local landowners for more than two decades. “Most of the land we’ve conserved has remained in the hands of area residents who use it for farming and forestry,” she says. “Now our conservancy is considering ownership when a parcel is close by a village or school or has special values for public enjoyment and learning.”

Li. Shen at the Thetford Conservation Commission puts the donated land in context with its surroundings, “The Pegjack Forest is an important piece in the mosaic of forested lands in conservation or current use in the north-east section of Thetford. Together these create an important corridor of wildlife habitat connecting Lake Fairlee and the Connecticut River.” According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, one section of the Pegjack is known to be an important wintering area for deer. There are also perch sites in the taller trees which may be used by raptors, along with dense areas of new growth which may provide cover to ground nesting birds.

During Adrich’s ownership, the property has served as a retreat for his family to roam on weekends. The property lies near Houghton Hill and includes 6,000 feet of frontage on a seasonal town road, a popular route for recreational use. Under UVLT’s ownership the donated property will remain open to the public for hiking and other non-motorized recreation. According to Li. Shen, “The value of the Pegjack tract for community recreation is superb, with stunning views from the height of land. In addition it offers the exciting possibility of connecting to the popular Mimi's Trail, and other trails in the area.”


Menu for the Future Discussion Course


Nora Doyle-Burr

(603) 643-6626 ext. 102


Emily Neuman




Hanover, NH—The Upper Valley Land Trust, the Hanover/Lebanon Food Co-ops and Vermont Earth Institute will sponsor a reading and discussion group about food and food systems. The new Vermont Earth Institute publication, Menu for the Future, offers people a unique opportunity to gather in small groups to examine the effects of modern industrial agriculture on both human and ecological health, to explore emerging food-system alternatives, and to consider how we as individuals can contribute to a more sustainable food supply. The readings consider food from multiple perspectives - cultural, economic, ecological, health and social - each presenting a different, though often complementary, angle on the complex modern food systems that many of us depend on.

The discussion sessions will meet once a week for six weeks, with the evening session starting September 16th 7-8:30pm at the Hanover Co-op and the daytime session starting at 12pm on September 24th at the Upper Valley Land Trust. Each week, participants will discuss several short readings from the guide. Facilitation is offered by Vermont Earth Institute with participants also sharing in facilitating the discussion.

Register at either the Hanover or Lebanon Co-op at least one week in advance of the starting date. The only charge is $20 for the Menu for the Future anthology, available at the co-ops. Please read the Session I readings before the first meeting. For more information call Emily Neuman at 603-640-6359 or Nora Doyle-Burr at 603-643-6626 ext. 102 or see