THE AUSBON SARGENT Land Preservation Trust thanks Sandra Blackington, front left, and her sister, Cora Collins Kangas, front right,, for their generous donation of a conservation easement on their 265-acre Rowell MacWilliams Woodlot in Sunapee. Also at the closing on Oct. 24, 2019 are standing, from left, Board Chair Frances Harris, Land Protection Specialist Andy Deegan and Executive Director Debbie Stanley.

SUNAPEE — The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust added 265 additional acres of protected Sunapee property when sisters Cora Collins Kangas and Sandra Blackington donated a conservation easement on their “Rowell MacWilliams Woodlot” located on Perkins Pond Road.

The closing on this generous gift took place on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

The Blackington-Collins Kangas conservation easement can be accessed from Perkins Pond Road in Sunapee. Though Perkins Pond Road is a well-traveled road in the town, the property only has a short distance of road frontage, leaving the property wild and protected.

There are extensive wetlands that are part of the watershed for Ledge Pond, which was formerly used as the source of drinking water for Georges Mills. The property has valuable wildlife habitat as listed in the 2015 New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan and it has valuable forestry soils that will be managed with the assistance of forester Van Webb, who is also the Sunapee Conservation Commission Chair.

The land will be open to the public for low-impact recreation. A popular recreational snowmobile trail crosses through the property and there is a class six road, known as Dodge Pasture Road, that runs along the northern boundary of the property allowing visitors to access some of the property’s interesting features.

In a recent conversation, Van Webb shared, “It is wonderful to have another great project to work on with ASLPT. This project was brought forward by a local family with deep connections to their community and to the land that they have held for a generation.

“As a long-time Conservation Commissioner, it gladdens me to see a parcel of this size be protected because of a strong feeling for the land, and not for financial reasons. A big thank you is due from the conservation community here in Sunapee.

“I have passed by this parcel a number of times over the years and was excited when the beavers built a dam and flooded a portion of the property, creating a heron rookery as the pine trees died and created ideal habitat for that species. As time went by and the habitat changed, a large number of species have continued to use the property. Their use is now guaranteed in perpetuity.”

Many thanks go to Cora Collins Kangas and Sandra Blackington for their generous donation. Ausbon Sargent also thanks the Town of Sunapee for covering the expenses associated with protecting this important conservation easement.

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust now protects 150 properties, comprising 11,855 acres in the 12-town region that it serves.

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