Bear Brook State Park is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire. People from all over the region come to hike, camp, mountain bike, and hunt and animals here in this large, wild landscape. Over the years, the conservation community has helped protect the lands around the park for recreation and wildlife.
For the last decade, Bear-Paw has been working with partners to conserve this special area. With the help of NH Fish and Game, NH Department of Environmental Services, the Town of Hooksett, the Land and Community Heritage Investment program, and many other organizations, Bear-Paw has acquired 1,500 acres and holds easements on an additional 530 acres. These lands are all for the purposes of wildlife management and recreation.
This August, Bear-Paw closed on 372 acres of prime woods and wetlands. A proposed commercial development project in Hooksett facilitated this conservation. The development project would impact wetlands and therefore the developer needed to mitigate these effects in order to get the permits approved. In exchange for the ability to implement their development plans - a project which the town was pleased to have - Port One purchased the land from Manchester Sand & Gravel and then immediately gifted the land to Bear-Paw. Bear-Paw will now grant a conservation easement to NH Fish & Game to ensure perpetual stewardship of this prime wildlife area.
It was a complicated project and it has been in the works since 2013 - a great example of how dedicated Bear-Paw and its members have been to our region's wildlife, wetlands, and forests.