Land Protection: Wendell Marsh in Sunapee

The protection of the Wendell Marsh area in Sunapee has been a focus of the conservation efforts for many years. Earlier this summer (June 2018), the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust announced that 40 acres of undeveloped land, which includes a significant portion of the marsh habitat, had been preserved.

NH Fish and Game began the conservation efforts in this area in the 1960’s. They protected the 10-acre Wendell Marsh Wildlife Area, identified as a high priority for conservation by the Town of Sunapee due to its pristine wetland habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, and other wildlife, as well as for water quality protection.

In 2013 Ausbon Sargent partnered with the Town of Sunapee’s Conservation Commission to protect 136 acres (Wendell Marsh North) followed, in 2015, with an additional 143 acres (Wendell Marsh South.)

Much work has been done in the past 50+ years by conservation groups and advocates to protect the wetlands of Wendell Marsh.

“As travelers drive past Wendell Marsh on Route 11 between Sunapee and Newport, they can be assured that most of the visible wetland has been protected. There is still some important upland property adjacent to the marsh that may be considered in future plans, but we are very happy to have nearly 330 acres conserved in the Wendell Marsh area.”

Ausbon Sargent credits Dr. Jolyon Johnson, Sunapee, for his work to protect more than half of the conserved acreage in the Wendell Marsh area. For two of the three parcels mentioned above, he purchased the property and held the title until the funding was in place for the Town of Sunapee to buy the property from him in a “bargain sale.”

“With the potential for development in that area, we are very grateful to Dr. Johnson for his help. Ausbon Sargent thanks the Town of Sunapee, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Sunapee Conservation Commission and the many people who have contributed to this project,” Stanley said.

The Town of Sunapee owns the land, and Ausbon Sargent holds the easement. Ausbon Sargent now protects 11,348 acres on 146 properties in its 12 town service area.

The Friends of Mount Sunapee advocates for land protection initiatives that enhance our region’s quality of life, clean air and water, large forest tracts and open lands, and provide for wildlife and their habitat. To share local land protection news with us, email:

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