Help the Forest Society protect 5,800 acres in Dixville Notch, NH

Help the Forest Society protect 5,800 acres in Dixville Notch, NH

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Campaign to Conserve Balsams Land Off to a Fast Start

Donations Hit the Web within First Half Hour

Within minutes of announcing a campaign to conserve 5,800 acres surrounding the BALSAMS Resort in Dixville Notch, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests started receiving donations via its website,

“People are really jazzed about this conservation project,” said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, vice president of development at the Forest Society.  She attributed the interest to several factors.

“Many people from across New England know the BALSAMS landscape and appreciate its unique beauty because they’ve driven through the Notch or had the privilege of staying at the Resort,” Kibler-Hacker said. “They’ve also heard that our window of opportunity to conserve the land surrounding the hotel is short—we have until Jan. 15 to raise the $850,000 we need—and so they are responding quickly.”

“And for some donors it’s important that the proposed conservation restrictions would eliminate the chance that Northern Pass towers and transmission lines could be built on the land,” she added. “They are very motivated.”

People looking to make a tax deductible contribution can do so online (, by phone (call Susanne Kibler-Hacker at 603-224-9945), or make checks payable to:  Forest Society-Balsams Project and mail to Forest Society, 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH 03301. The Forest Society is a 501-C non-profit organization.

Forest Society Agrees to Pursue Conservation of Balsams Land

Nearly 6,000 Acres, Scenic Views, Working Forest

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests came to agreement with the Tillotson Corporation to conserve much of the land surrounding the historic BALSAMS Hotel in Dixville Notch, NH. A purchase and sale agreement was signed that will enable the Forest Society to hold conservation restrictions that will forever protect the working forest, scenic views, and 30 miles of recreational trails that the public and BALSAMS guests have enjoyed for decades. The land will be owned in fee by the new owners of the BALSAMS Hotel.

“We have long sought to protect this special place in New Hampshire,” said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. “We are grateful to the board of the Tillotson Corporation to be given the opportunity to do just that.”

The purchase and sale agreement gives the Forest Society a window of opportunity to raise the $850,000 necessary to close the transaction. The conservation restrictions will prohibit further subdivision and commercial development while allowing sustainable forestry and recreational access.

The land that will be protected surrounds the site of the hotel. The site of the hotel, the golf course and the ski area will not be part of the conserved area. The conserved land will include the popular outlook known as Table Rock that offers a spectacular vista across Coos County to Maine, Vermont and Canada. The 30 miles of recreational trails include hiking and snowmobiling trails as well as a section of the Cohos Trail that runs from Crawford Notch in the White Mountains to the Canadian border in Pittsburg. Other conservation values include wildlife habitat, extensive water resources such as Mud Pond, healthy stands of sugar maple and areas of likely old growth forest.

“Given the extraordinary conservation values on the property, including the extensive scenic views of the land and from the land, we’re confident that donors will step forward to help us achieve this conservation outcome,” Difley said.

The Forest Society is a private, non-profit land trust and forestry organization established in 1901. It currently holds more than 750 conservation easements statewide permanently protecting more than 100,000 acres of New Hampshire’s landscapes. The Forest Society also owns 171 forest reservations constituting more than 50,000 acres in 95 New Hampshire communities.