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Hopkinton‘s Bohanan Farm Protected

July 1, 2010 | Hopkinton, NH
Hopkinton‘s Bohanan Farm Protected

Photo by Bob Lapree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For further information, contact:
Mark Zankel, Board Chair, Five Rivers Conservation Trust
markzankel@comcast.net
(603) 491‐7848

Dijit Taylor, Chair, Hopkinton Open Space Committee
dijit.taylor@gmail.com
(603) 228‐4614

Five Rivers Conservation Trust and the Town of Hopkinton announced that they had
completed the Bohanan Farm conservation project this week. In the deal, some 413 acres of Bohanan
Farm were permanently protected as agricultural land and open space through conservation easements
sold by the farm owners – Glenn and Adelemarie Bohanan, and Jamie and Heather Robertson.

Five Rivers Conservation Trust secured federal and state grants that paid for most of the easement price,
drafted the conservation easements, coordinated the private fundraising effort, and collaborated with
the Hopkinton Open Space Committee to complete the many due diligence tasks like getting the
property appraised and surveyed. “People say they love Hopkinton because it is a small, rural town,
with farms and abundant open space,” said Jay Haines, Executive Director of Five Rivers Conservation
Trust. “With all of the tragic environmental news of the past few months, it is just great to be able to
celebrate a success where community residents came together to protect one of the jewels in their
town – a farm, a local food source, wonderful open space – and to know that we are doing something
positive to safeguard the environment and our quality of life.”
Photo by Bob Lapree

The Hopkinton Open Space Committee led the effort to secure town support for the project. At a
special town meeting in December 2009, a historically large voter turnout approved spending up to
$360,000 from the town’s open space conservation bond. Because the partners were able to raise
additional funds, however, the town ended up only needing to contribute $160,000 in bond funds.
Dijit Taylor, chair of the Hopkinton Open Space Committee, noted: I am delighted that the transaction
is finally completed, fulfilling the desire Hopkinton voters expressed so clearly in the vote at the
special town meeting. The skill and hard work of our partner Five Rivers Conservation Trust has
allowed this project to be completed at a much lower cost to the town, in as timely a way as possible.
Special thanks to the Bohanan and Robertson families for their dedication to seeing this extraordinary
resource protected forever.”

Bohanan Farm is one of only three dairy farms left in Hopkinton, and has been tended for more than a
century by four generations of the same family. The property is uniquely situated at the confluence of
three rivers – the Blackwater, the Warner, and the Contoocook – and includes more than four miles of
river frontage. As early as the 19th century, the confluence of the Contoocook and Warner Rivers
(where Bohanan Farm lies) was heavily used by Native Americans. Relics and artifacts are held by the
Hopkinton Historical Society. A stone marker and plaque along the riverbank on the farm states that
“The first public bridge” (in Contoocook) was built there in 1779.”

Some $410,000 was provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service through its’ Farm
and Ranchland Protection Program. The property includes hundreds of acres of prime or of statewide
importance farm soils, and Bohanan Farm was the top‐ranked NH proposal for USDA Farm & Ranchland
Protection Program funding in 2009. "NRCS is proud to help with the protection and preservation of the
Bohanan farm through our Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. The Bohanan Farm is one of the
few remaining working dairy farms in the area and has been in the family for four generations. We're
pleased we can help it stay that way," said Rick Ellsmore, NRCS State Conservationist.

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP, awarded $200,000 to
the Bohanan Farm project. Ray Ilg, LCHIP Natural Resource Specialist, stated: “LCHIP is very proud to
have contributed $200,000 to the permanent protection of the 413 acre Bohanan Farm. This
conservation easement is forever protecting a piece of prime farmland, as well as a way of life that is
disappearing in New Hampshire. To be able to preserve open space, active agriculture, and wooded
wildlife habitat achieves the type of balance that many are seeking as our region continues to attract
further development.”

More than a hundred private donors also contributed over $70,000 to help the project succeed,
including support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. According to Five Rivers, with
different funding sources, it took many months to secure all of the necessary approvals for each aspect
of the deal. However, all parties felt that it was important to get everything right, and that the outcome
was worth the wait. "It's been two months shy of two years since I made the first phone call to Ron
Klemarczyk about selling the development rights,” said Jamie Robertson, co‐owner of the farm. “It's
been a long ride but we feel very good about preserving the over 400 acres of land for ever. We thank
the people of Hopkinton and everyone else who helped to preserve this property for future
generations."

The conservation easements are co‐held by Five Rivers Conservation Trust and the town, with Five
Rivers having primary responsibility for day‐to‐day monitoring and enforcement, according to Five
Rivers. The easements prevent further development or subdivision, protects the property’s productive
agricultural and forest soils, and supports continued farming. The property owners will continue to pay
taxes on the land. The easements require that current and future landowners keep the land open for
traditional uses including hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, and cross‐country skiing. The landowners will
only be able to limit public access at certain times of year and in specific locations where it would
substantially interfere with farming operations or create a public safety risk. The Town of Hopkinton has
the right to establish a parking area and hiking trails so that the public can easily access the land.

###

Five Rivers Conservation Trust is a nonprofit organization that works with communities and landowners
to protect open space across central New Hampshire. The goal of the Trust is to ensure that future
generations can experience, utilize, and benefit from the farms, forests, wetlands, and fields that
characterize much of the landscape today. The organization works in sixteen communities across
central New Hampshire and holds, monitors, and enforces conservation easements on 36 properties,
totaling over 2,200 acres. For further information, go to www.5rct.org or contact Jay Haines, Executive
Director, at (603) 225‐7225.

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