Phillips Brook Wetland Preserve

Phillips Brook Wetland Preserve

April 2013 – GMCG added the

Phillips Brook Wetland Preserve

as the newest addition to

protected Ossipee Watershed Lands.

 

The Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG) gratefully accepted the 102 acre Philips Brook Wetlands Preserve from conservationist and Effingham NH resident,  Stephanie Barnes.   The board was very excited to accept this land donation and presented Ms. Barnes with a framed photo by wildlife biologist Ellen Snyder, who researched and drafted the Wildlife Management Plan for the property.  In Ms. Snyder’s report she identifies some key elements that highlight the natural resource values of the property.  Effingham lies within a 68,000 acre forest block identified by The Nature Conservancy as an important “matrix forest block.”  Such areas represent the best remaining areas across the state and region to protect large, intact areas of un-fragmented forests and wetlands, critical for the protection of wide-ranging animals as well as forest interior species, such as some songbirds. A significant feature of this matrix forest — the Pine River Forest Block — is the size and extent of wetland complexes that occur within the area.  These peat-land ecosystems represent some of New Hampshire’s largest and best condition wetland ecosystems.  The Phillips Brook drainage is part of the overall wetland diversity and the property is within the Pine River Forest Block.In a recent wetlands inventory completed by Dr. Rick Van de Poll, the Phillips Brook drainage was listed as one of the eleven exemplary wetlands in Effingham. This brook flows north into Ossipee Lake at Leavitt Bay.  Phillips Brook is also one of the nine water quality monitoring sites that GMCG samples all year.Water quality monitoring partner, Michelle Daley, at UNH Water Resources Center was excited to learn about efforts to conserve this property and said, “We have worked with GMCG on water quality monitoring for many years and support the efforts to protect this natural area so that future generations can enjoy clean water in Leavitt Bay.”  Not only will protecting this land help protect water quality, but one of the greatest functional values of this wetland is flood water control flowing off the slopes of Green Mountain.

In addition to wetlands, one third of the property supports a mixed upland that includes productive hemlock, white pine and mixed hardwood.  In New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Wildlife Action Plan, a portion of the Phillips Brook area is ranked as highest value for wildlife habitat in the state.  There is abundant food, shelter, water and open space needed for sustaining wildlife.

We again “Thank” Ms. Barnes for this wonderful opportunity to add to the Ossipee Watershed protection and especially Ossipee Lake and surrounding bays.