307 Applebee Rd, Milton Mills, NH 03852
“Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.”
– Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior
In 1990, only .8% of lands in what is now the Moose Mountains Region was in conservation. The following year, Carl Siemon doubled the conserved land in the region with his donation to the Forest Society of a conservation easement on 1,500 acres of Branch Hill Farm’s working forest and fields in Milton Mills. At the time, this was the largest easement in southeastern NH, and the 3rd largest in the State of NH. The same year, Carl’s daughter Cynthia Wyatt and her family moved to NH to help manage Branch Hill Farm. Cynthia as Managing Trustee worked with her father for the ensuing 10 years. During this time, Branch Hill Farm doubled its conserved properties to 3,000 acres. As of 2023, Branch Hill Farm holds more than 3,500 acres of conservation land.
In her role as Managing Trustee of Branch Hill Farm, Cynthia Wyatt was inspired by Bear Paw Regional Greenways to the south whose mission is “to permanently conserve a network of lands that protects our region’s water, wildlife habitat, forests and farmland.” Her goal was to connect Branch Hill Farm’s 3,500-acre conservation lands to the Greenway initiative. In 2000, Cynthia collaborated with other conservation minded community members to form Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG). Since its founding, MMRG has worked with landowners to voluntarily conserve over 8,500 acres in the Moose Mountains Region, of which over 4,000 acres is either owned by or under a conservation easement held by MMRG.
“For me, it is the Greenway vision that inspires this landscape scale conservation work to forever ensure the quality of our air, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational corridors. Furthermore, this work supports the local forestry, agricultural, and tourism economies.”
– Cynthia Siemon Wyatt
Over the years, Branch Hill Farm has and continues to actively collaborate with NH’s dynamic land trusts including Society for the Protection of NH Forests (SPNHF), Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG), and Southeast Land Trust (SELT) as well as our region’s Conservation Commissions on important land protection projects. As the map shows, the vision to build contiguous greenway connections is becoming a reality in our region.
One of Branch Hill Farm’s exciting initiatives is to create a greenway loop from Branch Hill Farm to the Moose Mountains Reservation and back (as shown with arrows on the map).
The 2000+/-acre Jones Brook Greenway Block referenced on the map includes Branch Hill Farm, the Nature Conservancy, UNH, MMRG and other privately owned conservation easement properties. The pristine Jones Brook, an important sub-watershed of the Salmon Falls River, tumbles through the center of the property. MMRG owned Teneriffe Mountain with trails to the highest point in Milton, is another important natural feature that graces this greenway block.
The 564 acre orange parcel along the Jones Brook is scheduled to be purchased by Branch Hill Farm with the conservation easement held by SELT this year.
Note that the Jones Brook Greenway Block connects to Branch Hill Farm’s Salmon Falls Greenway Block making a contiguous 4500+/- acre greenway.
Branch Hill Farm is actively collaborating on other Greenway initiatives in the
Salmon Falls Watershed and across the Moose Mountains Regional Greenways landscape to continue to make the Greenway vision a reality.
Conserved Greenways ensure our water, soil, and air quality, provide expansive and diverse habitat for wildlife and networks of community hiking trails.
These Greenway projects exponentially benefit the surrounding properties for
all the most essential natural resources that move: water, air, wildlife, and people enjoying the greenway trails.