Town of Grantham Conserves Property with Upper Valley Land Trust

As of Wednesday, November 11th, a 30-acre parcel of land owned by the Town of Grantham, on Miller Pond Road will be protected from development forever. The Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) now holds a conservation easement on the land, known as the Lucius Smith Lot, which will ensure that the parcel remains undeveloped and open to the public for low-impact recreational activities. This conservation project is UVLT’s first in Grantham, and represents the successful partnership with the Grantham Conservation Commission to see this land preserved.The Lucius Smith Lot is adjacent to the expansive Flewelling Sherwood Forest, which includes over 820 acres of land protected by the Town of Grantham. Also nearby is the Grantham Town Forest, which is made up of more than 445 acres of forest land. Combined with these parcels the Smith Lot adds to the largest contiguous area of protected and public land in the town of Grantham. In addition, the newly conserved parcel is part of a larger unfragmented forest block of 43,570 contiguous acres, identified by the State of New Hampshire in the 2007 Wildlife Action Plan.

The Lucius Smith Lot is mostly forested with some wetlands, a stream, a small historic cemetery and a 10 foot cliff near its half mile of road frontage. The upland forest of the Lucius Smith Lot provides habitat and acts as a wildlife corridor to surrounding forests and a buffer to meandering streams. Nearby, Miller Pond, Skinner Brook, and a large wetland of over 15 acres, provide habitat to wildlife including white-tailed deer, moose, beaver, native brook trout, muskrat, otter, loons and many other mammal, bird (migratory song birds as well as water fowl), amphibian, and reptile species.

As well as important ecological value, this property has significant historic resources. Foundations, cellar holes, and a small cemetery area within the Smith Lot represent the range of these cultural sites. According to Dick Hocker, Chair of the Grantham Conservation Commission, historic land records indicate that the owner of the property in 1860 was H.S. Clement who was married to Julia Fisher. “Fisher Cemetery,” likely named after Clement’s wife, includes five grave markers and fencing protecting the vicinity around the markers. The remnants of the Clement house site are discernible northwest of the cemetery. An additional foundation can be found along Miller Pond Road. This foundation is thought to have been a barn or perhaps affiliated with the nearby dam on the Flewelling Forest Property.

Through the recently signed conservation easement, ecological, historical and recreational values of the Lucius Smith Lot will be protected in perpetuity.