Current projects & stories

A Home for Lifetime Mates

Conservation land includes wetlands and streams
Photo of Metzger Town Forest by Stacy Cibula

What could be more Valentine-y than celebrating the conservation of good habitat for beavers and otters, which mate for life? At the Katie Metzger Town Forest in Fitzwilliam, numerous streams and wetlands on the western side of the property provide homes for these faithful friends.

The Town Forest is a haven for wildlife and uncommon forest communities. The 244-acre property is owned by the Town of Fitzwilliam and is named for Katie Metzger, a former conservation commission member, to honor her and her years of service to the town. Katie also served as a board member for the Monadnock Conservancy in the early years.

Although only one 70-acre corner of the Town Forest is currently under conservation, it’s an important piece as it includes more than 1,000 scenic feet along State Highway 119. It also includes pockets of black gum and red maple swamp stands, an uncommon natural community. In addition to beaver and otter, signs of the following critters have been observed on the property: white-tail deer, moose, eastern chipmunk, red and gray squirrels, eastern cottontail rabbit, ermine, coyote, and red fox -- encouraging sights, as natural habitats for woodland wildlife are disappearing at an alarming rate. The protection of this block of land in Fitzwilliam expands a 3,500-acre corridor, giving wildlife the space they need to roam.