On November 29, 2017, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department purchased approximately 672 acres of land in Rindge and Fitzwilliam (most of the property –about 667 acres – is in Rindge). The area will be known as the Pearly Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The purchase price was $765,000.
The property has about 50 acres of wetland, ranging from small brooks to beaver ponds to marshland associated with Pearly Lake. It also contains 50 acres of fields that will be maintained by Fish and Game. The rest of the property is comprised of white pine/red oak/red maple forest. The area includes about 3,500 feet of frontage on Pearly Lake, which is a shallow warmwater pond that supports bass, perch, and pickerel.
“The protection of this property was part of an effort to expand the Department’s holdings in southwestern New Hampshire, where we have had limited ownership and the properties we do have are quite small in size,” explained Fish and Game Land Agent Richard Cook.
“The property was also attractive because it includes a range of different kinds of habitat that can support a diversity of wildlife species,” Cook continued. “A property of this size affords the opportunity to improve habitats through field and forest management that will have tremendous benefits to local wildlife populations.”
The property can be accessed from Ingalls Road and the Class VI portion of Bowers Hill Road. It can also be accessed from Old Rindge Road in Fitzwilliam.
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests holds a conservation easement on the property, however, the easement did not guarantee public access and also contained a right for the construction of a single residence. Now the right to public access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other wildlife-related recreational activities is permanently protected.
Funds for the purchase of the land for the Pearly Lake Wildlife Management Area came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program, which provides funding to state wildlife agencies to protect bird and mammal habitat and to provide the public with access to those resources. The Department is working to protect areas of significant habitat across the state and to ensure that citizens from all regions have access to Wildlife Management Areas. Learn more about wildlife habitat management in New Hampshire at wildnh.com/habitat.