Good News from Monadnock Conservancy

Son Protects Family Land


KEENE, N.H.  Donald “Chip” Wood made a promise to his father that he would never sell their family land to a developer. He kept that promise late last month when he finalized his voluntarily agreement to conserve 28 acres of Wood Farm in partnership with the Monadnock Conservancy.

“To my family, it’s a very good feeling to know it’s still going to be farmland,” Woodsaid.

For Wood, the most important part of this conservation is that the land is kept in the family and his sons will be able to inherit the property.

Conserving ensures that my two sons can continue to farm. They’ll take it over and manage it,” Wood said. “They’re slowly getting more involved now and they’re recognizing the value of it.”

The land was purchased by Wood’s grandfather in the early 1900s from the Boston and Maine railroad and the family grew hay and corn to support their dairy operation. Woodpurchased the land from his grandfather in 1976. He spent some time farming it himself while also working as a helicopter pilot. Currently, the land is leased to Putnam Farm, a large dairy farm in Charlestown, N.H.

The land features prime agricultural soils and is highly scenic. Conserving this land also enhances the Conservancy’s nearby eight-acre Lund conservation easement, which was completed in 2016.

The property has about 3,000 feet along the Cold River in North Walpole and is located on top of a critical drinking water resource. Anglers, paddlers, and other wishing to respectfully enjoy the water will continue to have pedestrian access to the river.

By conserving the land, Wood reflected, “It’s more or less what it was intended for and what my dad wanted. I carry on that tradition.”

This project was generously supported by the State of New Hampshire’s Conservation Committee “Moose Plate” grant program, the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund program, and an anonymous donor. 

The Monadnock Conservancy, founded in 1989, is the only land trust dedicated exclusively to 39 towns in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. Its mission is to work with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands, rural character and scenic beauty of the region. Based in Keene, N.H., the Conservancy is an accredited organization that has protected 21,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat and recreation trails in the region. For more information or to sign up for the monthly e-newsletter, visit or call 603-357-0600.

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