The Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership celebrated the completion of its 100th project resulting in the conservation of 5,800 acres around Great Bay.
The Partnership’s 100th conservation project was the 53-acre Brett property located in the Town of Madbury along Route 108. On a beautiful, blustery October day, local, regional, state and federal partners, community members, and landowners gathered at the Brett Farm to celebrate this significant conservation milestone.
Nick Brett led the conservation effort to fulfill his father Wesley’s wishes to conserve the property. Speaking at the celebration event, he recalled the family’s move in 1946 from an “in-town” location in Durham to the farm “in the country” which became the home for the Brett family. Growing up on the family farm created a connection to the land and work ethic that remains with Nick Brett today. Motivated to keep the farm in the family and under the family’s stewardship, Mr. Brett worked closely on a sale of a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy, which made the purchase on behalf of the Partnership. The family trust will continue to own the land, and the conservation easement will be held by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The conservation easement provides permanent protection to important resources on the property including approximately 1,300 feet along Gerrish Brook, a tributary to the tidally influenced Johnson Creek that connects to the Oyster River. This section of Gerrish Brook has been documented to include a State species of concern, the red fin pickerel.
Ultimately preserving land like the Brett property, along with the other 99 properties around Great Bay, has an impact on the health of the natural systems that wildlife and people enjoy. The Great Bay region provides a variety of wildlife habitats that support more than 150 rare species and 55 exemplary natural communities and ecosystems. Encompassing the outflow of five rivers to the Atlantic Ocean, the area is known for providing North American waterfowl breeding, migration and wintering habitat for more than 20 species of migratory waterfowl species. It is widely recognized as an ecosystem of local, regional, state, national and international significance.
The Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership is a group of organizations committed to protecting the important habitats of the Great Bay region. The Partnership operates as a unique cooperative effort, supporting collective conservation goals and promoting conservation actions. The work of the Partnership is informed by science-based conservation planning that directs the Partnership’s land protection, management, and stewardship activities.
For seventeen years, the Partnership’s commitment to the seacoast and its collaborative approach to conservation have secured a diversity of habitats including open fields, shrub lands, and forests, and protected 24 miles of tidal shoreline, 55 miles of stream frontage and 1,655 acres of wetlands. Protection efforts have also ensured that thousands of acres of land remain available for uses such as hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, hunting, and fishing.
The 100th Conservation Property at Great Bay celebration provided an opportunity to thank all of those involved in the collective effort of preserving New Hampshire’s special resources. It also served as a reminder and renewed call to action to continue the critical conservation work for the benefit and well being of future generations.
Principal partners in the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership include Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, New Hampshire Audubon, New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, Society for the Protection of NH Forests, The Nature Conservancy, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Natural Resources Conservation Service.October 26, 2011