Kimball Hill Forest Now NH's Newest Wildlife Management Area
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Wildlife Restoration Program, has acquired 2,731 acres of forestland in the town of Groton.
The conserved property will be known as the Kimball Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA), and features a diversity of habitats including young forest and old-growth areas, 10miles of rivers and streams that flow into Newfound Lake, wetland complexes, and elevations ranging from 800 feet to over 2,000 feet. Importantly, the project provides for the protection of wildlife corridors and connectivity between Cardigan State Forest, Province Road State Forest, and Kimball Hill, providing habitat in the region for wide-ranging mammals such as moose, bear, and deer.
The Department’s interest in protecting this property lies in its natural resource values, including exceptional wildlife habitat, as well as its location, its size, and its recreational significance to the citizens and visitors of New Hampshire. As part of the transaction, NH Fish and Game granted a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy, and the two parties will work in close cooperation on future management of the property to benefit wildlife.
“The conservation value of the Kimball Hill Forest is truly unique,” said Jan McClure, Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy. “The land not only provides extensive habitat for New Hampshire’s iconic species such as moose, black bear, brook trout, and bobcat, but it also provides the community with opportunities for hiking, hunting and fishing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The Nature Conservancy is proud to have worked closely with the Town of Groton and many private donors in the Newfound Lake Watershed to acquire this conservation easement and conserve this important landscape.”
“This property is located in a sparsely populated part of the state, and within an extensive area of conserved land, providing hunters and anglers with an opportunity to experience a remoteness and wildness that many of our Wildlife Management Areas cannot provide,” explained Fish and Game Land Agent Richard Cook. “We are grateful for the support of The Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in helping to make Kimball Hill’s conservation a reality for today and for future generations to enjoy.”
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to partner with The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and The Nature Conservancy to support the conservation of Kimball Hill,” said Colleen Sculley, Regional Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. “In addition to protecting critical wildlife habitat, the property will act as a gateway for people to experience the wonders of nature and the outdoors — offering access for fishing, hunting, trapping and other public uses.”
The total cost of the project was $2,100,000. The Nature Conservancy initially purchased the property in 2017, and has now sold it to Fish and Game, retaining a conservation easement for $1,161,000. Funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program, which provides funding to state wildlife agencies to protect bird and mammal habitat and provide public access to those resources, funded the Department’s acquisition.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.