NORTHEAST WILDERNESS TRUST
17 STATE STREET, SUITE 302
MONTPELIER, VT 05602
info [@] newildernesstrust.org
Thanks to the extended Putnam family, central New Hampshire has a new wilderness preserve. Rosamond Delori, James Putnam, Thomas Putnam, David Putnam Jr., Frederick Putnam, and Louisa Putnam generously donated 588 acres in Dublin, NH to Northeast Wilderness Trust.
The newly established Wildwood Wilderness Preserve abuts town, state, and privately conserved lands, protecting habitat connections in all four directions and building on long-standing conservation efforts within the Quabbin-to-Cardigan wildlife corridor and along the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway.
The new Preserve has a long-standing history of educational pursuits. Students at Antioch University conducted extensive ecological surveys in the 1990s and 2010s. This rich background of data creates a unique opportunity to conduct scientific inquiry into the changes over time for rewilding landscapes.
The Putnam family has owned the land since the 1950s, allowing nature to take its path and managing the land with a light touch only. Thus, the forest is in an exceptionally undisturbed natural state and has rare old forest characteristics. With 14 different kinds of wetlands, ten types of upland forest, and numerous vernal pools on the Preserve, the land harbors a diversity of wildlife across a broad range of habitats. A little over two miles of headwater streams, including Mountain Brook and Minnewawa Brook, feed into the Ashuelot River, a tributary of the Connecticut River.
Wildwood Wilderness Preserve is open to the public. A mile and a half of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail (a 50-mile hiking trail linking Mount Sunapee to Grand Monadnock) bisects the property, allowing people to experience this old forest firsthand and witness a wild place on nature’s terms.
Photography: Shelby Perry