Jaffrey native Jim Bearce and his wife, Lisa, join the family of landowners who have conserved their land. They recently signed all the paperwork wearing face masks while meeting with staff in an open area of a parking lot. The land has been in Jim’s family for four generations, since 1938, and features wildlife habitat, forest, and extensive wetlands.
The 183-acre parcel straddles the Jaffrey-Rindge town line near Mountain Brook Reservoir, part of the Contoocook River. Jim is very conservation minded, having served on the Jaffrey Conservation Commission for many years and having worked at both Pisgah and Monadnock state parks.
Jim and Lisa have seen all the locally common mammals here, including moose, black bear, bobcat, deer, fisher, mink, porcupine, beaver, red and grey fox, opossum, skunk, and raccoon. Now they are happy to know that the land and water can forever continue to be a haven for wildlife.
“There's an abundance of wildlife in the area because there's a lot of undeveloped land for animals. The property is situated in between Mountain Brook Reservoir and a large wetland complex, so the Bearces see a ton of wildlife travel through their property. It's a pretty neat spot,” said Anne McBride, land protection director for the Conservancy.
“In total, there are 50 acres of wetlands, a vernal pool, and over a mile of streams,” she added.
The Bearce property now enlarges to 385 acres an existing corridor of conserved land stretching to the north, including the Royce conservation easement, purchased by the Conservancy in 2019, and our Mountain Brook Reservoir property, where the mile-long public Gramwick Trail follows the water’s edge.
The land is blessed with good soils that are well suited for both forestry and agriculture. The conservation of this property also helps protect the drinking water supply for Franklin Pierce University, as the southern part of the Bearce property abuts the university campus and falls within its wellhead protection area.
Support for this conservation project came from the NH Department of Environmental Services’ Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund, the NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund, the NH State Conservation Committee’s “Moose Plate” grant program, the Jaffrey Conservation Commission, C&S Wholesale Grocers, and an anonymous foundation. Thank you!