What We Do

Purpose and functions of the Conservation Land Stewardship Program.

The Conservation Land Stewardship Program works with private landowners and municipalities to help preserve the conservation purposes and values of lands which the State of New Hampshire has invested in through the Land Conservation Investment Program (LCIP) and Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs) with state agencies.

The primary purpose of CLSP is to ensure that these investments in conservation properties remain intact in perpetuity. CLSP acts as a resource for municipalities and landowners, providing guidance and interpretation when requested or as is necessary. In all instances, the conservation easement deed is the authority and CLSP must interpret whether the terms of the conservation easement or agreement are being met.

Approximately 100,000 acres of land were protected through the LCIP. Roughly 50,000 acres are owned and managed by the state and 25,000 acres are state-held conservation easements. The remaining 25,000 acres are a combination of municipally-owned conservation lands and municipally-held conservation easements. On an annual basis, CLSP monitors all of the state-held conservation easements on behalf of the agencies that were assigned the easements:

  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Department of Natural and Cultural Resources / Forests & Lands
  • Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food

CLSP also provides technical assistance and field support to the 78 municipalities which participated in the LCIP, ensuring that stewardship of over 250 municipally-held conservation properties is being conducted. Our municipal work includes a required field visit conducted approximately every four to six years by CLSP staff.

In cases where interpretation, determination and enforcement are needed, CLSP staff works directly with the Department of Justice and its Charitable Trusts Unit. For state-held conservation easements this includes the respective agency who holds Grantee interest.

The CLSP continues to grow as new conservation easement properties are acquired through purchase by – or donation to – the state. Approximately 50,000 acres of new state-held easements have been added, bringing the total area of protected lands in the CLSP to over 100,000 acres.