Conservation Easement Protects Lebanon Drinking Water Supply

LEBANON, NH—As of May 2009, the Lebrun Meadow along Mascoma Lake is protected through a conservation easement held in perpetuity by the Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT). The conservation of this undeveloped land was made possible through the efforts of the City of Lebanon, its Conservation Commission, and the Water Supply Land Grant Program of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES). Further financial support for the project came from the Lebanon Open Space Trust Fund which receives penalty money when lands are removed from the Current Use Assessment for development.

The protection of this parcel will help to safeguard water resources and other valuable natural resources for the benefit of current and future inhabitants of the City of Lebanon. The conservation easement ensures that the land’s uses will remain consistent with goals to preserve water quality of surface and groundwater resources. As it did for this project, DES provides grant money to support the protection of water supply lands throughout the state of New Hampshire.

This 21.3 acre parcel, located between Route 4 and Mascoma Lake, was within a priority area for conservation in the City of Lebanon’s Master Plan. In addition to the value provided to the City through water protection benefits, the parcel has significant scenic value for people traveling along the busy Route 4 corridor, the Northern Rail Trail, or using the lake itself.

The Lebanon Conservation Commission is committed to maintaining the property for low-impact recreation and wildlife habitat. They have worked with the UNH Cooperative Extension to develop a management plan and mowing regimen to improve the property for wildlife and native species diversity. According to Lebanon Conservation Commission Chair, Judy Mcnab, “The property will be mowed according to a plan developed by NH Forester, Matt Tarr, to provide a variety of bird and small mammal habitats. As with all Lebanon Conservation lands the public is welcome to visit the land as long as they are respectful of its ecological values.”