The 85-acre Foss Forest is located off Pearl Lake Road and Post Road in Sugar Hill, NH. The wooded property with trails and lots of wildlife is the keystone of ACT’s work – it is the first land we conserved. The property came out of a family trust in 1999, and the new owner subdivided it into nine house lots – quite a jolt to the friends and neighbors living nearby who for years enjoyed walking, cross-country skiing, discovering new birds and wildflowers each spring, and hunting there. The neighborhood group organized to raise the funds to purchase the land and negotiated a bargain sale. The New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF, of Littleton, MA) facilitated the purchase, and now holds the conservation easement. The forest was named for Winifred Foss, mother of Lyman Foss, who sold us the property.
The friends and neighbors who came together to conserve the Foss Forest realized that other North Country residents faced similar challenges – what do you do when relatively small but locally important open space is slated for development? NEFF was kind enough to work with us on the Foss property, because of professional relationships some of us had with them. Otherwise, our options were limited because there was no local land trust working in the North Country. We decided to start one so that other people could do what we did. ACT was incorporated the next year.
Today, the Foss Forest has trails on old skids roads and trails built by ACT volunteers and neighbors. Some of the trails lead onto the Bronson Hill Conservation Area and into the MacCornack- Evelyn Forest. All told, ACT has assembled over 300 acres of permanently conserved land in the Pearl Lake/Post Road vicinity for all to enjoy. The Foss Forest may be entered at a log landing on Pearl Lake Road, or from the end of Post Road.