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Conservation Conference Looks To Bring New Faces To N.H.’s ‘Special Places’

Vanessa Johnson

The conservationists who help maintain New Hampshire’s landscapes for public use will be in Alton this weekend for their sold-out annual conference.

Conservation specialist Amanda Stone of UNH Extension says they’ll focus in part on adapting to climate change and exposing new demographics to the outdoors.

The conference is called Saving Special Places. Stone says it refers to the many varied places that hold value for New Hampshire residents:

“What are those key places that are important to people – [that] they may have grown up in, that have wonderful memories for them, they may enjoy using and recreating in – that are important enough that they want to protect them for the future,” she says.

Since the conference began two decades ago, Stone says the state's regional land trusts have become far more active, working with private landowners on to conserve new places.

“A lot of landowners in the state have that vision to protect their land for future generations,” Stone says. “They have natural features that they enjoy, and they want to see others enjoy them into the future.”

This year’s conference will also look at connecting new groups to these spaces – groups like millennials, people of color and immigrants.

Other speakers will talk about the value of wilderness, and how to create sustainable trails and support wildlife habitat.

And with climate change top of mind, Stone says they’ll delve into creating resilient landscapes across the state.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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