Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,500 donors, the Forest Society is pleased to report that we have raised the $850,000 needed to conserve the landscape surrounding the historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch. The fundraising deadline was Jan. 15.
"Given what a special place Dixville Notch is, we felt from the start that people would respond to our call to conserve it," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. "But to be honest we had no inkling that the public interest is protecting these 5,800 acres would be so strong. We've had so many emails and calls from people offering to help any way they could. I can't thank everyone enough, including the Tillotson Corporation for choosing to work with us to conserve the land. We believe, as they do, that this outcome is in the best interests of the North Country and, indeed, all of New Hampshire."
Interest in the Balsams conservation project ballooned when Northern Pass, LLC, attempted to interfere with the transaction, arguing that siting its proposed private, commercial HVDC overhead transmission line project was a better fit.
The 1500-plus gifts ranged from a few dollars to $150,000. The number of gifts is greater by far than any other conservation project in modern Forest Society history.
"Based on the notes and comments we've received along with donations, it's evident that many people saw the Balsams landscape campaign as a referendum on Northern Pass," Difley said. "Our success is one more strong statement by those who understand the true value of New Hampshire's forested landscape: the proposed Northern Pass transmission line is not wanted and offers little or no benefit to the state."
Forest Society staff and its attorneys are working on the paperwork required to complete the transaction within the next week.