Mt. Major / Belknaps Conservation Project Wins $340,000 LCHIP Grant
Additional $50,000 Awarded by Bafflin Foundation
CONCORD – Jan. 8, 2014 -- Two grant awards in the past week have propelled the effort to protect access to Mount Major and conserve 950 acres in the Belknap Range to within $400,000 of the $1.8 million goal.
The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) award committee announced Monday that it will provide $340,000 to the project, while the Bafflin Foundation, based in Providence, R.I., pledged last week to give $50,000.
More than 1,250 individual donors, five grant organizations, family foundations and the towns of Gilford and Alton have thrown their support behind the project, bringing the total raised to $1.4 million. The Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition are working together to raise the money needed to purchase and protect four properties – three on or near Mount Major in Alton and one on the slopes of Piper Mountain in Gilford.
“People keep telling us how much they love Mount Major and the trails they have access to in the Belknap Mountains, and they also keep telling us that they want this access to continue,” said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. “These major grants, coupled with the tremendous support of individual donors, will help us be able to protect that access forever, along with the wildlife habitat, water quality and other natural resources of the Lakes Region.”
“All of us working on the Mt. Major and Belknaps project are very grateful for these significant grant awards”, said Lakes Region Conservation Trust President Don Berry. “The strong and broad support for the project to date is a testament to the shared commitment of people around the Lakes Region and throughout the state to the important work of conserving the Belknap Mountains’ summits, forests and trails, and it makes us confident of achieving our fundraising goal.”