Saving Special Places

Saving Special Places





Meadow in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's Annual Land Conservation Conference


Saving Special Places 2024
Saturday April 6, 8am-2:45pm

Prospect Mountain High School, 242 Suncook Valley Rd, Alton, NH 03809

Saving Special Places provides professional development and networking for land trust staff and their board members, other conservation/watershed organizations, conservation commissioners and other municipal boards, and natural resource professionals from New Hampshire and beyond.

Saving Special Places 2024 is ON!
We are able to accommodate walk-in registrations this year - cash or check only.


Conference Fee: $65

INCLUDES: Keynote Speaker, 15 workshops, exhibits, networking, morning refreshments & lunch

Are you a student?
We have a reduced fee ($25) for students! Please email to request a coupon code and include where you are a student in your email.

Note that the conference is capped at 200 participants, so register early before it fills!

Registration (credit cards only)

Click the registration link below to register and select workshops for the conference. Note that you can only select ONE workshop in each of the two workshop sessions and there is a capacity limit for each. After payment, you will review all of your responses/selections, simply click through to complete your registration. Be sure to remember your username and password - this allows you to go back into the registration system to check your workshop selections (especially helpful if you forgot what you signed up for). You can also print your workshop choices when you review them after payment (click the button to the right: PRINT SELECTED SESSIONS). Please note that online registration is credit card payment only.

Registration is closed.
We are able to accommodate walk-in registrations this year - cash or check only.

Please email with registration questions.


Paying by check?

You must print our downloadable PDF registration form and MAIL your registration form + check no later than March 15, 2024.   We will not accept registration forms without an accompanying check, so please be sure to plan ahead.

Questions about Registering - contact
Questions about the conference in general - contact

COVID/Health Policy

  • For the health safety of all at the conference please stay home if you don’t feel well, have any COVID, Flu or RSV symptoms or if you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Mask wearing is welcome in indoor spaces but not required. Masks will be available at the conference.
  • Please follow CDC guidance if exposed to COVID-19 within the 10 days leading up to the event. If you test positive for COVID-19 within the 5 days leading up to the event, please do not attend.
  • COVID-19 vaccination (including boosters) is strongly encouraged.

We will refund your registration fee if you need to cancel for health reasons.  

Conference Workshops and Schedule

Conference Location

Prospect Mountain High School, 242 Suncook Valley Rd, Alton, NH 03809


8:00 AM – Conference check-in opens
9:00 AM –  Conference Welcome
and Land Acknowledgement
9:15 AMKEYNOTE SPEAKER: Enock Glidden

10:30 AM – BREAK
11:00 AM Workshops Session 1

12:15 pm LUNCH
1:30 PM Workshops Session 2

2:45 pm –  Conference end

All workshops are limited to 30 participants. Please be sure to select your workshops early as there will be no standing room allowed this year.

This year during lunch, we are expanding the number of optional networking tables available for attendees to connect around specific topics.  These have not yet been finalized, but are likely to include: land protection, easement stewardship, land management, development/communications, new to conservation.  Stay tuned for more information as the conference approaches.


9:15AM - 10:30AM

Outdoors For All

Enock Glidden

Photo of Saving Special Places keynote speaker, Enock Glidden, rock climbing

 As a lifelong resident of Maine and a disabled adventurer,  Enock Glidden has made it his life's mission to explore the world.  Through that endeavor, he has had the opportunity to experience a wide array of physical activities.  From downhill skiing to scaling the face of El Capitan he has gleaned firsthand the benefits of outdoor recreation for the disability community.  He relishes the opportunity to speak to anyone and everyone about this important aspect of our society and to bring awareness to the need for greater access to our natural world.  Hear stories and insights into the life of Enock and what outdoor recreation has meant for his mental and physical well-being. He will also be showing a short film of his ascent of El Capitan. 

About Enock

An avid and accomplished outdoorsman, Enock can be found adventuring every season of the year throughout his home state of Maine. As a person born with a disability, through the award-winning Maine Trail Finder website, his blogs and experiences have been shared widely in local, state, and national media outlets, and Maine Magazine named him one of their Mainers of the Year in 2022. Out on trail, Enock works directly with trail managers to assess both physical and communications barriers that can be minimized or eliminated to make those experiences more accessible and welcoming for everyone.


11:00AM - 12:15PM

1A : Writing the Land: Communicating Conservation Through Poetry
David Govatski (Friends of Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge), David Johnson (Southeast Land Trust of NH), Lis McLoughlin (Nature Culture/Writing the Land)

Writing the Land is a project at the intersection of arts and environment. We pair poets with conserved lands, and creates anthologies sold for outreach and fundraising to support land protection. The books include poems (available indefinitely to the land trusts sponsoring a poet on their land), along with information about the trusts' work and lands.  Optionally events are also produced. We hope to find 10 land trusts interested in participating in the program to create an NH-specific anthology. Join us to learn how this unique project works and how to become part of our creative community.

1B: Conservation Easement Conundrums
Jason Berard (Upper Valley Land Trust), Naomi Brattlof (Society for the Protection of NH Forests), Amanda Ellms (Southeast Land Trust of NH),

Delve into conservation easement grey areas with stewardship staff from Southeast Land Trust, Upper Valley Land Trust and the Forest Society as we look at challenging violation and landowner request scenarios. Participants will split into three facilitated discussion groups to tackle the intricacies of developing action plans for violation resolution and exploring tricky easement interpretations. Come prepared to share and learn as we explore real world scenarios with unclear answers in small teams.

1C: Integrating Workforce Housing and Conservation: Case Studies from Hanover & Conway, NH and Wolcott, VT
J.T. Horn (The Trust for Public Land), Robert Houseman (Town of Hanover, NH), Abby King (The Nature Conservancy Maine), Hayden Smith (The Trust for Public Land),

Is your town grappling with dual needs for conservation and affordable housing? Hanover is facing this dilemma with an ambitious open space plan and a median home price over $900,000. Hanover partnered with Trust for Public Land (TPL) to create the Mink Brook Community Forest and to carve off 5-acres for a future workforce housing project. Another case study will share how TPL is setting aside a building lot for Habitat for Humanity while creating the Wolcott Community Forest in VT. A third example from the Upper Saco Valley Land trust demonstrates key challenges and opportunities when accepting trade land intended for housing. Presenters will share lessons on engaging the community, due diligence complications, and housing partnerships.

1D: A Holistic Approach to Conservation Planning: Lessons from the Kittatinny Ridge in PA
Zak Brohinsky (Resilience Planning & Design), Liz Kelly (Resilience Planning & Design)

Traditionally, conservation planning neglected to integrate underserved and marginalized populations into land protection efforts. To be effective and equitable, landscape-scale conservation must engage diverse networks to benefit communities and ecosystems. In 2022/23, the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape designed a more holistic and strategic approach to guide efforts on more than 2 million acres identifying opportunities for co-benefit conservation. Attendees will learn the about inclusive approach and considerations for incorporating elements into conservation planning in NH.

1E: Wetland Restriction Impacts on Conservation Work and Habitat Management
Phil Auger (Licensed Forester), Ed Robinson (Wildlife Biologist)

No cut buffers and wetland vegetation management restrictions are common regulatory tools that have found their way into grant requirements and conservation easement language. We'll explore the negative aspects of this trend and how it is impacting land conservation work. Examples of how land trusts, state agencies and private landowners are managing vegetation within buffers and wetlands will be provided. Ed Robinson is a retired wildlife biologist with NH Fish and Game. Phil Auger is a licensed forester and retired county forester.

1F: Solar and Land Conservation – Can They Play Well Together?
Beth McGuinn (Revision Energy), Mark Zankel (Revision Energy)

Climate change poses an existential threat that impacts NH land, wildlife, human health and economy. Join Beth McGuinn and Mark Zankel, whose conservation careers influence their solar work, to explore the opportunity for conservationists and solar developers to find appropriate places for community scale solar arrays of 3-30 acres while minimizing impacts to high conservation-value land and water. What land is suitable for solar? How do landowner goals come into play? What are the biggest barriers to New Hampshire’s clean energy transition?

1G: Recreational Infrastructure: Increasing Support from Recreational Users
Carrie Deegan (Society for the Protection of NH Forests), Deborah Goard (Southeast Land Trust of NH), Dave Mallard (Lakes Region Conservation Trust)

Building and maintaining recreational infrastructure takes significant staff and financial resources. Join us for a roundtable on what land trusts have done to communicate to those that recreate on our trails that their support is needed to help ensure proper maintenance. A group discussion will follow and focus on: what others have tried or are considering trying to communicate this need; what has been successful or unsuccessful; what road blocks exist; and who else we can engage with to successfully increase support from recreational users.

WORKSHOP CANCELLED 1H: Conserving Plant Diversity in New England
Michael Piantedosi (Native Plant Trust)

Conserving Plant Diversity in New England (2021) is a new report resulting from a two-year collaboration between Native Plant Trust and The Nature Conservancy. The report provides a scientific framework and detailed roadmap for conservation action and land protection at the species, habitat, and parcel scales that will help save plant diversity—and thus overall biodiversity—in New England as the climate changes. In this talk, co-author Michael Piantedosi will discuss a few primary results from the report and give context for the goals outlined for New England.


1:30PM - 2:45PM

2A: Old-Growth Forest in New Hampshire: Biodiversity Powerhouses
David Govatski (Old Growth Forest Network)

Old-growth forests are rare in New Hampshire. This presentation will describe how to recognize the unique physical characteristics, important ecological attributes, and the wildlife that favor such forests. We will discuss their importance as carbon reserves to help cool our planet. We will finish with a visual tour of several of the finest old-growth forest across our state, where ancient trees are a source of awe and inspiration.

2B: "Please Attend Our Communications Workshop" - A Communications Workshop
David Johnson (Southeast Land Trust of NH), Gal Potashnick (Canopy Consulting)

What are the ingredients that make for a memorable and motivational smorgasbord of annual outreach to stakeholders? What content can be conjured to compel your constituents to commingle with your conservation conversation? What role, if any, should alliteration play in your writing? Find the answers to these burning questions - and more! - with this lively discussion, filled to the brim with deep dives, use cases, pro-tips and obscure '90s pop culture references.

2C: Conservation Easements Refresher
Amy Manzelli (BCM Environmental & Land Law, LLC)

What is going on with tried and true conservation easements? Get a refresher on definitions. Learn whether solar is allowed in conserved areas. Consider if an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value is part of or different than a Conservation Easement. Talk about what the IRS and courts are doing on Conservation Easements lately. Bring your questions and experiences!

2D: Getting Your Conservation Lands into GRANIT
Pete Steckler (Northeast Conservation Services)

Are there conservation lands in your area that don't show up in the NH Conservation/Public Lands Data Layer available through GRANITView or the NH Coastal Viewer? If so, and you want to change that, where do you start? How do you submit updates? What questions do you have and what help do you need? Attend this session to understand your role in updating this important database, which it critical for informing land conservation efforts across the state. Help is available, you just need to attend!

2E: Opportunity Knocks, but Only if You’re Ready!
Roger Larochelle (Squam Lakes Conservation Society), Ryan Owens (Monadnock Conservancy)

Land Trusts typically raise funds for specific projects, but what if you had a pool of funds available ahead of the next project, or group of projects? What if you had an opportunity fund to cover those pesky transactional costs and make it even more attractive to landowners? How would you sell the idea to funders? How would you allocate those funds? Come share ideas on how you might create your own opportunity fund to open your organization to the possibilities of what you can do instead of how are you going to fund the next project.

2F: Managing for Climate Resilience in two New Hampshire Landscapes
Joanne Glode (The Nature Conservancy New Hampshire), Samantha Myers (Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science), Wendy Weisiger (Society for the Protection of NH Forests)

In 2023, The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science convened groups of land managers in two NH landscapes to identify anticipated climate impacts and potential management approaches. This workshop will present the planning framework and tools, like the Climate Change Tree Atlas, used in this project, share high-level takeaways from the two landscapes, and provide a close look at two sites, the Green Hills Preserve and the Peirce Reservation.

2G: Innovative Conservation Funding Opportunities through NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Jessica Rock (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)

NRCS's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) provides innovative opportunities to fund a broader variety of easement types than traditional NRCS easement programs. Learn how your land trust could obtain funding for land trust-held easements on working forests lands and/or wetland/riparian habitats, in addition to traditional agricultural easements. Or how land trusts can leverage RCPP dollars through U.S. held easements, beyond traditional WRE easements, to further conservation initiatives in their region.


Saving Special Places is made possible by our generous supporters


Thank you to our 2024 CONFERENCE PARTNERS

Conference Photo Credit

The 2024 Conference banner photo (©Jeff Lougee/The Nature Conservancy) features Maidstone Bends Preserve in Groveton and Northumberland, New Hampshire. Our thanks to Jeff for allowing us to use this beautiful image.