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Natural Resources

  • Protected Land (as of December 2021)

    A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization that limits activities on the land in order to permanently protect natural resources. The land remains in private ownership while the conservation organization holds the easement and ensures that its terms continue to be met.

    Map 1, Lot 1 (Sharon/Peterborough border)
    John A. Bross
    to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) [BK 2663 PG 370]91 acres (Sharon) and 152 acres (Peterborough), total 243

    Map 7 Lot 15 +Lot 16 (Swamp Road)
    Sheree Dukes Kohak and Erazim Kohak
    to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) [BK 2985 PG 438]10 acres
    Erazim Kohak donated this same land, plus 1.8 acres, to SPNHF in 1999
    [BK 6154 PG 1655]

    Map 5 Lot 16A (Cross Road, Sharon and Old Sharon Road, Peterborough)
    Edwin H. Land and Helen M. Land
    to Town of Peterborough, acting through its Conservation Commission (BK 5211 PG 1420]200 acres +/- of which 2.6 are in Sharon

    Map 1, Lot 21 (Sharon/Temple town line)
    Camilla C. Lockwood Revocable Trust
    to New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) [BK 5912 PG 0165]28.5 acres in Sharon and 192 acres in Temple

    Map 7, Lot 6 (Swamp Road)
    Donald W. Burgess and Cynthia P. Burgess
    to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) [BK 6334 PG 0459]50 acres

    Map 7, Lot 19 ( Rte. 124)
    Will Fenno
    to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF)
    [BK 6334 PG 472 PLAN #30869]50 acres

    Map 3, Lot 28 (Temple Road)
    Cabot New Hampshire Land Trust
    to New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) [BK 6354 PG 1917]211 acres

    Map 3, Lot 25 (Temple Road)
    PJ O’Rourke
    to New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) [BK 6352 PG1936]14 acres

    Map 4, lot 23 (Jarmany Hill Road)
    Will Fenno
    to The Monadnock Conservancy [BK 6553 PG 1852 PLAN 31522 DWR 145]19.93 acres

    Map 5, Lot 13 (Spring Hill Road)
    Anne Booth and William N. Booth
    to The Monadnock Conservancy [BK 6522 PG 0406]120 acres

    Map 5, Lot 8 (Spring Hill Road)
    Joel R. Newton, Trustee, Wallace B. Newton and Violet M. Newton Revocable Trust
    to The Monadnock Coservancy [BK 6522 PG 0415]98 acres

    Map 4, Lot 3 (Jarmany Hill Road)
    Richard W. Dugdale
    to The Monadnock Conservancy [BK 7784 PG 2224 PLAN 35184]136.2 acres

    Map 5, Lot 7A (Cross Road)
    June L. Matthews, Bruce S. Matthews, Martha A. Matthews
    to The Monadnock Conservancy [BK 8117 PG 0794]This conservation easement also grants an Executory Interest to the Town of Sharon giving the town the right to enforce the easement if grantee fails.
    88.9 acres


    Town Forest: 891 acres
    Two Cemeteries
    Area around the Brick Schoolhouse


    Society for the protection of New Hampshire Forests: 1,224.06 acres
    New England Forestry Foundation: 923 acres
    The Nature Conservancy, New Hampshire: 48 acres, Wales Preserve


    Annett State Forest, Route 124: 188 acres in Sharon
    Wapack Trail parking area, Temple Road

  • How To Protect Land

    Conserving and protecting land is vitally important to Sharon residents who want to retain the unique character of our rural town. Three options exist for protection: a conservation easement, land donation and sale of land to the town or conservation organization. For more information on these options, please contact the Chair of the Conservation Commission.

    Bargain Sale:

    Not all landowners are willing or able to part with their land or donate an easement on it, but may be able to sell the land or an easement on it for less than fair market value. Federal income tax deductions may make this an attractive option.

    Donation of Land:

    A conservation-minded landowner may donate property to the town or to a nonprofit land conservation group. The land is removed from the donor’s taxable estate, and the gift may provide federal income tax deductions. Another option is to bequest the land; the gift is in the landowner’s will and takes effect after his or her death. The Wales Preserve is an example of land donated to The Nature Conservancy.

    Conservation Easement:

    A legally binding agreement by which a landowner restricts the future use of his or her property. The agreement is made between the owner(s) and a qualified conservation organization, which then assumes the responsibility for ensuring that the provisions of the agreement are honored. A conservation easement assures that property will be protected from undesired development, regardless of future ownership.

    You can put an easement on just a portion of your land.

    Any property valued for its agriculture, forestry, recreation, water resources, wildlife habitat, or scenic or historic qualities may be protected with a conservation easement.

    The easement is recorded at the county Registry of Deeds so that all future purchasers or lenders will have notice of the restrictions when they obtain title reports.

    The owner of property protected by a conservation easement may sell, give or transfer the property to a new owner at any time. Owners retain the right to use and manage the property for all purposes except those restricted by the easement.

  • Town Forest

    Sharon, New Hampshire is a town with a unique rural character, partly due to its commitment to land conservation. In demonstration of this commitment, the Town formed the Robert P. Bass Memorial Town Forest. The forest runs from east to west in the town, protecting and preserving vast expanses of land area. The forest is a place for hiking and hunting, as well as providing a source of income to the Town through closely monitored timber harvests. The forest is also home to many forms of indigenous flora and fauna, making it a great educational resource.


    • hunting permitted (during season only)
    • no fires
    • no motorized vehicles
    • no trapping without a permit
  • Hiking Trails

    The Sharon Conservation Commission maintains a network of trails throughout the Town Forest. The trails follow historic roads frequented by horse and buggy in the 19th century.

    Research on these trails, conducted by Bruce Matthews, former Conservation Commission member, involved reviewing deeds, reading historical accounts of the forest, discovering old maps, locating historical sites (cellar holes, former work-camps, stone bridges), identifying points of interest (views of Mount Monadnock, etc.) and flagging trees.

    AmeriCorp selected the Town Forest as a work site in 1996. Young people ranging from 18 to 25 years old, volunteered for four days clearing historical trails and constructing a small stone bridge. Their work was coordinated by the Conservation Commission. The students who participated made a commitment to complete 1,700 hours of community service over 11 months in return for rustic living accommodations, a modest stipend, and a post-program educational award.

    In 2008, the Conservation Commission worked with Boy Scout Troop 11 on an Eagle Scout project led by Greg Potter. The group cleared the Don Sullivan loop trail, blazed trees and installed sign posts. In 2009, the Conservation Commission worked with Boy Scout Troop 11 in an Eagle Scout project led by Dan Martin. The group constructed a bridge over Meadow Brook on the Don Sullivan loop trail.

    The Wapack Trail

    The Wapack Trail is a 21-mile skyline footpath from Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham, Massachusetts to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Completed in 1923, it is the oldest interstate hiking trail in the Northeast.

    The trail is well-marked and has three points of entry in Sharon: on Nashua Road (at the Temple line), on Temple Road (near the intersection of Greenleaf), and on Mountain Road (for the Berry Pasture Trail). A Wapack Trail Guide is available via the Friends of the Wapack and can also be purchased at Eastern Mountain Sports in Peterborough.

    The Wales Preserve

    The 48 acre Wales Preserve is the result of two gifts to The Nature Conservancy by Ralph and Betty Wales. It is open for passive recreational, educational and scientific uses and is located on Spring Hill Road.

  • Water

    Hydrography: Hydrography is similar to geography, except that it applies to water and identifies water resources and locations.

    Watershed: Sharon is in the Contoocook River watershed, as determined by the US Geological Survey and the NH Dept. of Environmental Services. The farthest downstream point of the Contoocook River watershed is at the confluence of the Contoocook River with the Merrimack River in Boscawen, New Hampshire

    Streams/Rivers: In addition to the Gridley River, 2 perennial streams (streams that flow all year long) are  in Sharon, identified by looking at the solid blue lines on the US Geological Survey  topographical maps. They are Meadow Brook and Town Line Brook.

    Wetlands: Based on data from the NH Fish and Game Department, Sharon has at least 24 wetlands larger than 10 acres. The Conservation Commission is in the process of completing a Wetlands Inventory on 30 of these.

    The criteria for the inventory is that the wetland be located within 1/2 mile of an aquifer, be as large or larger than the Sharon Bog, have some unique characteristics, have three or more vegetative classes, and/or be connected to a stream or river. The inventory is being conducted using the accepted “NH Method” of field work. Landowners give permission for wetlands inventory. The data 1) provides a guide for the Planning Board, 2) establishes a baseline to measure future impact on wetlands, and 3) helps the town understand the value or uniqueness of individual wetlands.

    Destruction of Wetlands can lead to serious and costly consequences such as:

    • pollution of drinking water supplies
    • flooding of upland areas downstream
    • destruction of historical sites.

    Reasons to protect our wetlands:

    • Wetlands protect and preserve drinking water supplies because they purify surface  water and ground water by filtering and plant chemistry.
    • Wetlands prevent loss of human life and property during floods because they absorb  and store water.
    • Wetlands retard soil erosion because the abundant vegetation holds the soil in place.
    • Wetlands provide for a diversity of wildlife due to a presence of a plentiful water  supply, habitat for breeding, nesting, and feeding.

    Aquifers: The two general types of aquifers in New Hampshire are:

    • Sand & Gravel Aquifers (mapping completed in 1992 by USGS)
    • Bedrock Aquifers (being mapped by the State and USGS now)

    Signs that an aquifer is present include:

    • the presence of water at or near the ground surface for part of the year
    • the presence of soils which were formed under wet conditions
    • most of the plants are adapted to wet conditions