The Mascoma Watershed Conservation Council is a non-profit 501 (C)(3), all-volunteer organization that supports conservation education and conservation within the Mascoma watershed. To this end, we have collaborated with others on several projects.
History of the Mascoma Watershed Conservation Council
1998 – The organization began as a vehicle for accepting and transferring funds for Sue Morse’s Keeping Track program, which teaches identification and monitoring of wildlife habitat.
2002 – We completed a multi-year effort to protect the 923 acre Bear Pond Natural Area in Canaan in partnership with the Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT). BPNA has more than two miles of water frontage including Bear Pond and its outlet, Little Goose Pond and its brook, and the Mascoma River. It is also home to a 95 acre bog that is a prime example of this natural community type.
MWCC partnered with the “Goose Pond Lake Assn” to obtain a grant to purchase water-testing equipment.
2003 – We contracted with the Society for the Protection of NH Forests (SPNHF) to prepare a Natural Resource Inventory of the entire watershed. Maps of Conservation Lands, Unfragmented Lands, Land Cover, Water Resources, Soils, Wildlife Habitat and Co-occurrence were prepared.
We also contracted with New England Institute of Landscape Ecology (NEILE) for a more detailed NRI of the BPNA. The inventory was done by selecting transects so that the areas of study can be rechecked periodically in order to learn more about the natural processes of nature. The NEILE study cataloged aquatic food webs, amphibians & reptiles, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, fish, plants including lichens and fungi, and small & large mammals.
Mrs. Kathe Arzdorf of Canaan donated 13.9 acres of land to MWCC in memory of her late husband, Siegfried Arzdorf. Support from UVLT and a
grant from the New England Natural Areas and Wildlife Grants Program of the Fund
for the Environment helped to complete this conservation project, which permanently
protects the shores of much of Little Goose Pond and Little Goose Pond Brook.
Left to right, Jay Waldner of UVLT, Alice Schori, Kathe Arzdorf, Judy Macnab, Nik Palmer, and Kurt Gotthardt at the closing.
2004 – MWCC Partnered with the “Goose Pond Lake Association” to obtain a grant for controlling erosion damage at “The Acre” boat launch and Swimming Area.
2005 – MWCC partnered with UVLT and the Enfield Conservation Commission to protect the 97 acre Suzanne Brown parcel that includes 6300 ft of frontage on the Mascoma River in Enfield. It also contains forested, vernal pool and grassy wetlands and significant wildlife habitat including a deer wintering yard.
2006 – MWCC had a successful fundraising effort that allowed us to make a $10,000 bid on the Smith Pond Brook property behind Lakeview Condos in Enfield. We were outbid by Jim and Becky Petryk, but their plans for the property include restoration projects that would be beyond our means. Donations were returned to those who wished.
2009 – We began a cooperative effort with the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC) to include the Mascoma River in the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program.
MWCC began a partnership with NHDES for the Volunteer River Assessment Program (VRAP) which monitors various parameters of water quality – turbidity, pH, conductance and dissolved oxygen. Lab tests for various elements may be added if indicated.
We donated 3,000 to the New England Institute for Landscape Ecology (NEILE) to help fund an ongoing Canada Warbler study. Much of the study takes place on BPNA as well as the adjacent Canaan Town Forest.
2010 – The MWCC donated an addition $2,000 to NEILE to continue the Canada Warbler study
2013 – The MWCC donated $2,500 to the Mascoma River Local Advisory Committee, and pledged an additional $2,500 to support mutually agreeable outreach projects through 2014.
2014 – Partnered with the Mascoma River Local Advisory Committee to host the Mascoma River Watershed Summit at Cardigan Mountain School. The Summit brought together representatives from over 20 different conservation organizations in the Upper Valley to share ideas & form partnerships to further conservation efforts in the region. In addition, we donated $1,500 to offset costs of the event.
2016 – Donated $3000.00 to help fund the ongoing studies of the Canada Warbler on both the Bear Pond property and the Canaan Town Forest. With our help, these studies have been ongoing for more than 10 years, and scientists are now working with partners in Canada to exchange data on the subject. We also held a (unsuccessful) campaign to raise money to purchase the Bird in Hand Farm in Canaan NH, which is located on the SE corner of Bear Pond. The 10 month campaign did raise over $20,000 from generous members and local foundations. Construction projects at Bear Pond included the replacement of a foot bridge and installation of several hundred feet of boardwalk to allow foot traffic along a wet area created by beaver activity. Finally, we led a almost monthly series of Watershed Walkabouts in parts of BPNA as well as to several other watershed wonders. We also partnered with the UVLT of the 9th annual Bear Pond snowshoe.