Monahan Headwaters Conserved

HarrisonTopoLoc_2014Phil and Kate Harrison have donated a conservation easement that protects 40 acres of woods and 2/3 mile of streams in Hanover Center. Located adjacent to Alswell Farm, which was conserved in December 2013, the Harrison’s gift extends the conservation of forested habitat, water resources and access for recreation.

In a 2004 inventory of the property, forester George Frame noted many different elements of wildlife habitat, writing: “There are maintained and un-maintained grass openings, there is open water, there are wet brushy swales associated with the drainages, there are pine covered dry uplands and moist mixed forest. To have this amount of diversity on a small tract is a great resource.”  Wildlife species using the habitat include otters, bear, deer and coyotes.

Two streams traverse the northern portion of the Harrison property, flowing east to west and converge just beyond the western boundary of the property to then form a more substantial brook known locally as Monahan Brook.    The brook turns and flows southerly, crossing Wolfeboro Road, and then across the southwestern portion of the protected property, about 300± ft, then exiting its southern boundary.   These drainages  total more than 3500 linear ft of stream.    Monahan Brook is the main inlet of a reservoir which was constructed in 1962 to supply drinking water to the Town of Hanover. It is currently one of three reservoirs serving more than 1700 residents.

More than 90% of the land consists of very deep, loamy, moderately well drained or well drained soils, classified as the most productive forest soils.  Years ago, portions of the property supported farming and there are old wells and remnants of fences that indicate this history.

The newly conserved property is located within a 1700 acre block of unfragmented land, almost 1/3 of which has now been protected! Directly adjacent to the Harrison’s property are the 48± acres of Alswell Farm parcel, conserved by UVLT in 2013, and four parcels totaling more than 115 acres owned and/or conserved by the Town of Hanover.