On January 16th, 2009 Chippers began the work needed for the construction of the Mink Brook log bridge. Thank you to Chippers for the donation of services to Hanover Conservation Council’s Mink Brook Bridge Project. The Council looks forward to working with Tahawus Trails and many Council volunteers in the coming months as we move towards the completion of the log bridge.
The Hanover Conservation Council dedicated the lower Slade Brook conservation area in honor of Jim and Evalyn Hornig on Friday, November 7, 2008. Jim Hornig has been a visionary leader in land conservation efforts including the protection of the Slade Brook watershed.
We held our spring celebration at the Dartmouth Outing Club House on Occom Pond. It was a fun celebration of our accomplishments in land conservation. We also had the opportunity to honor our dedicated volunteers, and share our vision for the future.
Thanks Susan Harper for the great snacks and refreshments, and activities for the kids.
See also the article in the Valley News – Thursday, March 11, 1999
A special thanks to all our volunteers and supporters who made this effort possible.
As recently as mid-November 1998 residential development of the Barrett-Ransmeier land on the Mink Brook in Hanover seemed imminent. In a remarkable turnabout, less than three months later the Hanover Conservation Council assumed ownership and responsibility for stewardship of this remarkable property on behalf of the people of Hanover, their children, and for future generations.
As the Mink Brook Nature Preserve, this land, which is home to wildlife including deer, fisher, and fox – as well as mink – will be maintained as a place where people can repair to enjoy the solitude and beauty of wild nature. All within walking distance of downtown Hanover.
The Hanover Conservation Council expresses its thanks and admiration to all who have made this possible:
… to the Barrett and Ransmeier families, who knew and loved this land, and who shared our joy when conservation became a viable alternative to development,
… to the anonymous donor, whose initial magnificent challenge gift galvanized the community to accomplish what so recently seemed impossible,
… to The Upper Valley Land Trust, whose staff skillfully transformed that challenge into an achievable community project,
… to a special friend of the Hanover Conservation Council, whose support provided a giant step toward meeting that challenge and assured ultimate success of the project,
… to the volunteer fundraising committee, whose enthusiasm and persistence met the goal in the time that most committees take to get themselves organized,
… to the over 450 donors, large and small, members of the Council and others, who responded to the challenge and made the dream a reality.
Hanover Conservation Council Board of Directors
Robert Norman, Edwin Chamberlain, Shawn Donovan, Stephens Fowler, Patricia Higgins, James Hornig, Hugh Mellert, and Karen Watson.
For more information contact the HCC at 643-3433
Valley News – Sunday, February 14, 1999
By KRISTINA EDDY
Valley News Staff Writer
HANOVER — With a few pen strokes, the Barrett-Ransmeier property on Brook Road passed into the hands of the Hanover Conservation Council, which will develop a management plan to protect forever the natural amenities and wildlife of the 112 acres now called the Samson Occom Nature Preserve.
The Upper Valley Land Trust signed the papers Friday morning to buy the property from the Barrett and Ransmeier families, and about an hour later, conveyed ownership to the conservation council while “keeping back a conservation easement that limits the kinds of things that can happen on the property,” said Jeanie McIntyre, executive director of the land trust. The conservation easement held by the land trust essentially prohibits development and allows public access.
“The partnership (between the conservation council and the land trust) will continue forever,” said Tom Elliott, conservation organizer for the conservation council, a private, nonprofit group founded in 1963. The conservation council will seek public input when drafting the permanent management plan, Elliott said.
The Barrett and Ransmeier families had owned their Brook Road property for 50 years and during that time had allowed the public pretty much unrestricted access to its brooks, ledges, open areas and forests.
Various efforts to conserve the parcel had failed over the years, and plans to build houses on the land were coming to fruition when, last November, an anonymous donor offered an $850,000 challenge grant that made purchase by the land trust possible.
“While we regret the loss of the residential neighborhood contemplated under our abandoned project, we hope that the permanent conservation of the entire tract will indeed prove to be in the best interest of the entire Hanover community,” Joseph Ransmeier said in a written statement.
The conservation council and the land trust were able to raise a total of $1.3 million — including the $850,000 donation and a $100,000 donation from another anonymous donor, Elliott said. This covered the $1.2 million purchase price, $50,000 for legal and other fees and $50,000 to establish a stewardship endowment, the interest of which will be used to pay for items such as trail maintenance and consultants’ salaries.
Present at the signing were Ransmeier and his wife, Margaret, and William, George and Frank J. “Jay” Barrett Jr., the sons of Frank J. Barrett Sr., who bought the land with Ransmeier in 1949. The senior Barrett was unable to be there, but a painting he had done of the property was given to McIntyre.
“Basically we all feel very good about it,” said Frank J. “Jay” Barrett Jr., who lives in the Fairlee village of Ely and used to work as a planning official for Hanover. “For the rest of my life, I can walk out on the property at any time and visit the places where I camped and played as a kid.”
The area will be called the Samson Occom Nature Preserve at the request of the anonymous donor of $850,000. Occom, a Mohegan Indian, was a student and ward of Dartmouth College founder Eleazar Wheelock. Occom went on to become a preacher and teacher among the Montauk Indians on the eastern end of Long Island and helped Wheelock raise money to start Dartmouth.