Saving Special Places 2023

Saving Special Places 2023





Meadow in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's Annual Land Conservation Conference


Thank you for a successful 2023 Conference! See you next time!
Thursday March 30, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Virtual Keynote with Katharine Hayhoe
Friday April 7, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Virtual Workshop with Peter Forbes
Saturday April 15, 8:45 AM - 2:45 PM
In-person conference
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.

  • Katherine Heyhoe

Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe, PhD is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. In her role as Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, Katharine is responsible for the TNC's wider portfolio of global climate advocacy and adaptation work.

Katharine has served as lead author on the Second, Third, and Fourth National Climate Assessments. She also hosts and produces the PBS Digital Series, Global Weirding, and serves on advisory committees for a broad range of organizations including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the Earth Science Women’s Network, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

 Learn More



Thank you for a successful 2023 Conference! See you next time!

There are TWO registration options. You can register to attend the VIRTUAL SESSIONS ONLY, or register to attend the FULL CONFERENCE which includes access to both the virtual sessions and the in-person conference. The virtual sessions will be recorded and made available to all registered participants after the conference.

Virtual Sessions ONLY fee: $20 - INCLUDES:
  • March 30 - Virtual Keynote with Katharine Hayhoe
  • April 7 - Virtual Workshop with Peter Forbes
  • Access to recordings of virtual workshops
Full Conference fee: $65 - INCLUDES:
  • March 30 - Virtual Keynote with Katharine Hayhoe
  • April 7 - Virtual Workshop with Peter Forbes
  • Access to recordings of virtual workshops
  • April 15 - In-person with 18 workshops, networking, morning refreshments, & lunch
    Note that the In-person conference is capped at 200 participants, so register early before it fills!

Online Registration (credit cards only)

Click the registration link below to register for Virtual and in-Person options and select workshops for the In-Person conference. 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 have selected them (click the button to the right: PRINT SELECTED SESSIONS). Note that you can only select ONE workshop in each of the three in-person workshop sessions and there is a capacity limit for each.  There is no capacity limit for virtual sessions.  Please note that online registration is credit card payment only.


Paying by check?

3/29/23 The conference is full and we are no longer accepting mail-in registrations for the 2023 conference.

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

Covid/Health Policy

The conference committee is following CDC guidance for COVID-19. In preparation for the In-Person Conference, we have developed the following recommendations in an effort to protect the health of all participants:

  • 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 and encouraged in indoor spaces but not required.
  • A rapid Covid test is encouraged prior to joining the in-person event. 
  • 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.  

Virtual Sessions


KEYNOTE:  Katharine Hayhoe (The Nature Conservancy)

12:00 - 1:30pm

Nature-Positive Solutions for the Climate and Biodiversity Crises
Climate change and biodiversity loss threaten the future of all living beings on our planet. The scientific consensus is clear: we need to act urgently to tackle these issues. The good news is that by prioritizing nature, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air and water quality, enhance food security, and reduce the impact of climate change on communities. Join Katharine to learn more about how we can work with nature to protect biodiversity, mitigate carbon emissions and build resilience to climate change.


Workshop with Peter Forbes  (First Light)

12:00 - 1:30pm

First Light: Relearning, Recentering and Returning Land and Power
This workshop will introduce you to First Light, a collaboration between 65 land-holding organizations and the Wabanaki Confederacy of Maine to relearn history, repair relationships and return land to Indigenous nations. First Light involves dozens of land trusts, the Wabanaki Commission, and the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet First Nations in ambitious collaboration to rethink the promise and future of land conservation.

In-Person Conference Workshops and Schedule

Conference Location

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


8:00 AM – Conference registration opens
8:45 AM –  Conference Welcome
and Land Acknowledgement
9:15 AM –  Workshops Session 1 

10:30 AM – BREAK
11:00 AM Workshops Session 2

12:15 pm LUNCH
1:30 PM Workshops Session 3

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


9:15AM - 10:30AM

1A:  Conserving Your Land: The Basics
Anne McBride (Monadnock Conservancy)
An introductory overview of land conservation techniques and how they work.  We will cover conservation easements and fee ownership. Additional topics may include amendments, public access, stewardship, deed restrictions, executory interest, federal tax benefits, due diligence, and Current Use. Bring your questions. 

1B:  Getting Good Help - How to Recruit Stewardship Volunteers
Charlotte Thompson (UNH Extension)
Based on ten years of experience helping recruit volunteers and run stewardship workdays, join the Nature Groupie team to learn their tried-and-true strategies for recruiting volunteers and hosting successful stewardship workdays. Participants will learn tips for planning, promoting, and running a stewardship workday, like what projects are good for volunteers, how to write a workday description, and the importance of making it fun!

1C:  Farmland Conservation 2.0: When Saving Land is Not Enough
Jeremy Lougee (Southeast Land Trust), Amanda Littleton (Cheshire County Conservation District) and Jimi Tutor( Clyde Farm)
We've all heard the phrase "saving the farm". Yet despite our best efforts, many protected farms in NH no longer produce food for the community. This workshop will highlight new strategies to ensure our farms remain viable, accessible to all, and productive. Presenters will discuss tools such as the Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV), successional transfers, and farm viability assistance from the NH Farm Future Fund. Come learn about these emerging strategies that go beyond land protection to ensure farms remain productive and in service to their local food system.

1D:  High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) for Trail Accessibility
Debbie Goard (Southeast Land Trust), Emma Tutein (UNH Extension)
SELT and UNH Extension have teamed up on trail accessibility. Using the HETAP tool, trail data and features are being collected on SELT’s trails and will inform us how trails can be made more accessible. We are also working on how this information can be displayed in an easy-to-understand format to help trail users determine which trails match their abilities. With training anticipated to be extended to partners, come learn what the HETAP can do for you.

1E:  Is Wolf Recovery Possible in the Northeast?
Chris Schadler (New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition)
Wolves pass through New England and, too often, are mistaken for the large eastern coyote, and are killed. These hunters are not held responsible - killing an endangered species - because they thought it was a large coyote sounds, somehow, reasonable. Is it the responsibility of state Fish and Game agencies to develop recovery plans to protect wolves as they migrate back into ancestral territory? Is the public ready for wolves? For this round table discussion of the issue of wolf recovery I will share my experience and then open it up to the audience to share your thoughts and insights.

1F:  From the Fragments: Decolonializing History with Indigenous & Western Science
Dr. Meghan Howey (UNH), Paul Pouliot and Denise Pouliot (Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People)
 Numerous cultural heritage sites lie on the world’s fragile coasts, including right here in New Hampshire. We are in an area experiencing sea level rise and with a robust cultural heritage that includes precontact Indigenous settlements and sacred places, colonial sites, and later historic maritime heritage sites. An analysis of sea level rise models to assess cultural heritage site vulnerability in coastal New Hampshire found known precontact and historic sites as well as historic graveyards in coastal New Hampshire that will be subject to damage and/or destruction from increased coastal flooding. There is a pressing need to combine western science and the latest technologies with Indigenous knowledge to pull forth the rich, and overlooked, histories of Indigenous peoples in New Hampshire over millennia.


11:00AM - 12:15PM

2A:  Managing the Conversation - How to Talk to Landowners
Anna Boudreau (Lakes Region Conservation Trust)
This workshop will provide strategies on how to prepare for the first conversation with a landowner about conserving their land and how to manage expectations through the typical stages of a land conservation project. We’ll discuss the objective of your first communication, who should make the contact, and tips on how to manage expectations as you work through this process. I will share all the things I wish I had known before my first conversation with a landowner.

2B:  The Science, Management and Markets for Forest Carbon
Charlie Levesque (North East State Foresters Association, Inc.), Philip Lovejoy (Blue Hills Foundation, Inc.) and Madeline Montague(The Climate Trust)
This session will provide a comprehensive introduction to forest carbon offsets and how they can be used to benefit ongoing conservation efforts.  Learn about the science of forest carbon, the management of forests for carbon sequestration, and get an overview of the forest carbon offset market.  Learn how a carbon offset project is pulled together, and then hear from a land trust on their experience of bringing a project to market.

2C:  Caring for Agricultural Easement Lands
Brooke Stubbs and Tracy Boisvert (Natural Resources Conservation Service NH)
What is an Agricultural Land Easement Plan and why is it important?  Conservation easements with the primary purpose of providing sustainable food production and preserving agricultural land uses require special attention and collaboration with landowners and farmers to ensure this purpose can be met in perpetuity.  The presentation will cover stewardship considerations specific to agricultural purposed easements.

2D:  Preserving Heritage on Conserved Lands
Jennifer Goodman (NH Preservation Alliance) and Nadine Miller and Mark Doperalski (NH Division of Historical Resources)
People have been living in New Hampshire for over 12,000 years and have left a legacy in archaeological remains, settlement and circulation patterns, and structures and buildings. What's important to recognize, protect and celebrate? The session will offer guiding principles for these assets associated with layers of history, practical strategies, and resources and referrals to put to use. Bring your questions!

2E:  Aquatic Buffers - What's the Big Deal?
Rick Van de Poll (Ecosystem Management Consultants)
Billions of dollars of ecosystem services are provided every year by aquatic buffers, yet billions are also spent each year destroying them. The flood storage value alone of well vegetated aquatic buffers have saved countless culverts, bridges, and roads in the granite state, yet New Hampshire remains the only state in New England without mandatory buffers to aquatic resources (except tidal). It is therefore incumbent on towns and private citizens to do what they can. This workshop will review the functions of aquatic buffers, the current set of limited restrictions, and easement language.

2F:  Community Conversations: Furthering Conservation Missions through Intergenerational Conversations
Leia Lowery (The Climate Initiative)
Engaging the community in conversation can be difficult, but this Community Conversation method makes bringing many voices to the table powerful. Led by youth, intergenerational groups engage in challenging conversations and leave with a solutions mindset and hope. As our communities face harder and more complex issues in the face of our changing climate and landscape, these conversations will become essential in adapting to new realities. Learn this proven method with The Climate Initiative and get started today.


1:30PM - 2:45PM

3A:  The Secret Sauce of Organizational Success ...Succession Planning!
Emily Boedecker (Momentum Communications)
Succession planning is the process of identifying the important roles, skills and information that your organization needs to survive and thrive. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the value of succession planning for organizational success, will be able to identify the different roles that individuals, supervisors, board and leaders play in succession planning, and will leave with practical tools to help develop or improve succession planning for their own organization.

3B:  Round Table on Funding Programs: Problems and Solutions
Duane Hyde(Southeast Land Trust) and Brian Hotz (Society for the Protection of NH Forests) with moderator Phil Auger (Southeast Land Trust)
The conservation community is expecting to see significant opportunities from unprecedented increases in conservation funding, but at the same time many of the funding programs have become more complicated and cumbersome. Without change, many eligible and worthwhile conservation projects may not benefit from these funding opportunities. This Round Table intends to be solution oriented by gathering stories from practitioners and information about specific funding program areas where a particular change could make a real difference for conservation.

3C:  The State of New Hampshire's Birds
Pamela Hunt (NH Audubon)
In the last 50 years, scientists estimate that North America has lost some 3 billion birds. New Hampshire Audubon has been tracking bird populations for almost as long, and in our State of the Birds report we present a summary of how birds are doing here in New Hampshire. Almost 300 species occur regularly here, and this report outlines general population trends, major threats facing birds and their habitats, and some of the conservation strategies that might help them recover. The bad news is that birds are declining here as well. The good news is that there are things we can do about it.

3D:  Butterflies Anyone? Join the NH Butterfly Survey!
Rick Van de Poll (Ecosystem Management Consultants), Heidi Holman  (NH Fish and Game)
Calling All Citizen Scientist Geeks! For everyone who has been captivated by butterflies and wants to learn more, this workshop is you! Come learn about the NH Butterfly Survey sponsored by NH Fish & Game, and the opportunities to join in the fun. Through online and in-person workshops in 2023, butterfly enthusiasts can join one or more count circles in NH and participate in the North American Butterfly Association atlas surveys this summer. Well over 100 species fly in our state and you can expect to see half or more of them during a single count day. All levels of experience welcome!

3E:  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.

3F:  Nature Near Schools - Conservation, Education & Community Benefit
Shelby Semmes (Trust for Public Land), Andrew Deaett (Vital Communities), Mark Billings (Meredith Conservation Commission)
New England's rich traditions of conservation and place-based outdoor education present a powerful combined force to drive community-centric conservation and close outdoor equity gaps. In this session, you will: 1) get inspired by recent examples of conservation interwoven with place-based education; 2) explore a GIS Discovery Map from Trust for Public Land's Land for People Lab that identifies opportunities to close outdoor equity gaps at Northern New England's K-12 schools, and 3) discuss challenges and solutions to doing this kind of work in your community.

Saving Special Places is made possible by our generous supporters



2023 Conference Photo

The 2023 Conference banner photo ( © Jeff Lougee/The Nature Conservancy) features Maidstone Bends Preserve, Groveton and Northumberland, New Hampshire. Our thanks to Jeff for allowing us to use this beautiful image.