Former Francestown couple donates 149 acres for conservation
By JULIE HANSON
Union Leader Correspondent | May 20. 2014 8:26PM
Piscataquog Land Conservancy vice President Paul Doscher, PLC Executive Director Paula Bellemore, landowners Diane and John Schott, Francestown Land Trust board President Chris Rogers and FLT board members Ben Haubrich and Paula Hunter celebrate the completion of the Brennan Falls Reserve easement. (Abigail Arnold/Courtesy)
“It’s actually a large tract of land close to Brennan Brook,” said Paula Hunter, a member of the board of directors of the Francestown Land Trust. “It’s very pristine, undeveloped land.”
Former residents John and Diane Schott donated the land, which will be named the Diane and John R. Schott Brennan Falls Reserve, after the cascades there. John Schott wrote the history of Francestown and the couple remains devoted to the town.
The easement was obtained in partnership with the Piscataquog Land Conservancy. It became possible through a $120,000 grant awarded to the Piscataquog Land Conservancy by the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and about $225,000 raised through other grants, private donations, and money received through the Davis Conservation Fund, Fields Ponds Foundation and the McIninch Foundation.
More importantly, it contains one of three headwater streams that feed into the Piscataquog River and eventually into the Merrimack River.
Much of the PLC’s work is about protecting forest, water and wildlife, Bellemore said. In this case a large piece of Francestown history will also be preserved.
Hikers may still come across walls, cellar holes and other remnants in the area known locally as the “lost village.”
Now in the control of the land trusts, the property can’t be developed and restrictions have been placed on its use.