Rosalind & Fred Slavic
Wilderness Preserve

Tucked into New Hampshire’s Rhododendron State Park, the 300-acre Rosalind & Fred Slavic Wilderness Preserve is characterized by majestic old oaks, beeches, maples, and yellow birches well on their way to becoming an old-growth forest of tomorrow.

The Rosalind & Fred Slavic Wilderness Preserve lies within a continuous, unbroken 14,000-acre forest. This forest is notable because it is exceptionally intact, has highly variable topography, outstanding habitat diversity, and is isolated enough to harbor robust populations of species that need interior forest. Not all this vast forest is protected, however. Conserving core wild habitat in extensive forests such as these is critical to increasing their resilience to climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Preserve cradles a mile of Kemp Brook in the eastern basin of a modest mountain called Little Monadnock. As a headwater stream, Kemp Brook has a healthy amount of branches, leaf litter, and root masses that support niche habitat for fish to lay their eggs. Clear, cool pools aerated by riffles and runs may support native brook trout. Kemp Brook supplies clean water to the Millers River, which flows into the Connecticut River Throughout this area of the Preserve, beavers inhabit wetlands of their own interspersed with hemlock-shaded ravines.

Transferring their property to the Northeast Wilderness Trust is a dream come true for my aunt and uncle…At 102 years old, Rosalind is very grateful that she has lived long enough to see their legacy, the Rosalind and Fred Slavic Wilderness Preserve, become a reality.

Sharon Freedman, niece of Rosalind and Fred Slavic

The forest is well on its way to its future as an old-growth forest. Rosalind and Fred Slavic bought their land in the 1960s. The Slavics had a vision to make their land a safe haven and forever-home for wildlife. They began pursuing this dream in 1987, working with the State of New Hampshire, the Forest Society, and the New Hampshire Audubon Society to add a conservation easement to a portion of their land. The couple then decided to donate their land to Northeast Wilderness Trust to further secure the land’s forever-wild protection.

Visitors are welcome to explore the land at nature’s pace, by human-powered means. The Little Monadnock Trail originates at the Rhododendron State Park and then runs through the northern end of the Rosalind & Fred Slavic Wilderness Preserve for a half-mile, culminating at the summit of Little Monadnock and linking to the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail.

Fred and Rosalind Slavic deeply loved the land they lived with. They always wanted it to be wild and free, forever, simply left alone, to be what it had originally been.

Stephen Walker, Director of the New Hampshire Conservation Land Stewardship Program

Nature photography by Shelby Perry; Portrait of Rosalind and Fred Slavic by Jim Dumont