MN, Koochiching Forest Legacy, ($3,000,000)- This Koochiching Forest Legacy Project Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 will protect the forest economy and the recreational and environmental resources on over 140,000 acres of timber land in northern Minnesota. Purchase of a conservation easement on these lands would guarantee public access for camping, hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, and motorized usage while helping sustain timber and forest industry jobs across the state. The properties are near two National Forests-the Chippewa NF and Superior NF, Nett Lake Indian Reservation, county forests and MN's largest state forest, and contain numerous federal or state endangered or threatened species including Canada lynx, timber wolf, orchids and a rare tiger beetle. The properties also contribute water quality benefits to two state designated canoe and boating rivers, Voyageurs National Park, the Rainy River, and Nett Lake, the world's foremost natural wild rice producing lake. This Phase 4 project will build on the recently completed 51,000 acre Phase 1 Project and will protect an additional 13,502 acres.
MT, Murray Douglas Conservation Easement, ($2,900,000)- The Murray – Douglas conservation easement project comprises 9,594 acres of forested land within the Garnet Mountains in the south-central Blackfoot River watershed of Montana. The easement will be held and monitored by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The Murray- Douglas Conservation Easement Project is part of the disposition component of the larger Blackfoot Challenge Blackfoot Community Project for the south-central Blackfoot watershed. Plum Creek Timber Company reorganized as a Real Estate Investment Trust in 1999, had identified thousands of acres in western Montana as having “higher and better uses” than commercial forestry, and was actively marketing timberland in the Blackfoot for private development. The Challenge initiated the Blackfoot Community Project in the fall of 2002 as a proactive response to the progressive parceling of these timberlands and to allow the Blackfoot community a voice in guiding their future ownership and use.
NH, Cardigan Highlands, ($2,400,000)- The Cardigan Highlands project would conserve 9,278 acres of ecologically exceptional, sustainably-managed working forest in central NH through a conservation easement purchase. The project is a strategic conservation priority for the Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative (Q2C), a multi-state, landscape-scale, public-private conservation partnership operating in the Monadnock Highlands of NH and MA. The Cardigan Highlands project includes two tracts: the 6,578-acre Green Acre Woodlands tract (funded in FY09 and FY10) and the 2,700-acre Kimball Hill tract (proposed for funding in FY11). The Cardigan Highlands project is part of a larger effort to connect already substantial conservation investments to achieve cumulative conservation at the landscape scale. The project would protect important environmental values, including surface and ground water, fish and wildlife habitat, unique forest communities, and recreational opportunities. The project would conserve an impeccably managed working forest that supports the forest products economy and provides jobs.
NJ, Musconetcong & Rockaway River Watersheds, ($1,000,000)- NJ's highest-ranking project will protect lands with fee simple acquisitions to be held & managed by the Division of Parks and Forestry & the Division of Fish and Wildlife. New Jersey’s 2010 application goal is to protect tracts of tremendous conservation & connective value. Each consists of prime contiguous forest land, protects potable water resources & biodiversity, and allows for public recreation. The lands contain hundreds of acres of unfragmented forest. Due to their proximity to adjacent public & protected forestland, the preservation of these parcels will further expand contiguous acreage of denser forests & promote forest health. The project supports the Federally Endangered Indiana Bat. In addition, state research & planning categorizes the project area as, "Critical Wetland Forest with Core Habitat" supporting state threatened & endangered species: American Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Bobcat, Cooper's