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    Marlow, New Hampshire

    341 Acres | November 28, 1995
    Frank Richards
    Conservation Easement

    Since 1995, the Richards Wildlife Sanctuary in Marlow, New Hampshire, has been a safe haven for the wide variety of wildlife who inhabit the area.  The sanctuary was established by a conservation easement agreed upon by the owner, Frank Richards, and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.  Like all properties protected by HSWLT conservation easement, future development and logging activities are restricted, and recreational and commercial hunting and trapping are fully prohibited.

    The Richards Wildlife Sanctuary comprises 341 acres of former farm land. The heavily forested property joins other undeveloped land and a few small residential tracts. One section of the border is shared with another HSWLT sanctuary, the Orenda-Winham Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest is primarily northern hardwood in mature stands. Some have a significant white birch component, which is somewhat unusual, mixed into stands of sugar maple, white ash, northern red oak and beech. Interspersed are stands of white pine, hemlock, and red spruce.

    Significant beaver activity is evident in what the owners refer to as the “beaver swamp.”  Black bear and white-tailed deer live in the forest, along with muskrats, raccoons, otters, red fox and weasels.  The sanctuary is within a corridor known to have transient species including moose and coyotes.

    Many migratory birds, including Canada geese, may be found in the wetland areas.  Year-round birds include chickadees, downy and hairy woodpeckers, nuthatches, evening grosbeaks, purple finches, blue jays and ruffed grouse. Migrants include eastern phoebes, thrushes, a variety of warblers, that prefer closed woods for nesting and feeding, and a variety of sparrows.

    Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

    HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

    Rabbit Close-up

    When Peter Cottontail arrives, do you mark the beginning of spring? Or see a voracious destroyer?


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