The Chocorua Lake Conservancy (CLC) is a volunteer-led, nonprofit land trust dedicated to the protection of the scenic and natural resources of the Chocorua Lake Basin and surrounding area for the benefit of all present and future visitors.
The CLC owns and manages almost 1,000 acres of conservation land across 20 properties in the Chocorua Lake Basin, and protects almost 3,000 additional acres through perpetual conservation easements and covenants on over 120 other properties.
Our Main Areas of Focus
Land Conservation: The CLC achieves the long-term protection of the Chocorua Lake Basin by seeking, holding, and monitoring conservation easements and by accepting land ownership. It seeks to ensure that the Chocorua Lake Basin’s unique balance between the natural state and mankind is preserved forever. In 2005, the CLC successfully registered “Chocorua Lake Basin Historic District”, which includes 155 historic buildings across 6,000 acres, onto the National Register of Historic Places.
Public Access: The CLC provides public access to Chocorua Lake at two CLC-owned properties: a three-acre area known as the “Grove” by the bridge at the south end of the lake; and a seventeen-acre area known as the “Island” adjacent to Old Route 16 on the east side of the lake. The CLC also maintains a Tamworth resident-only picnic and swimming area known as “Sandy Beach” on the east side of the lake. The CLC built and maintains the historic wooden railings on the Narrows Bridge, maintains the dam, and funds a daily patrol to keep all public access areas free of trash. The CLC funds new plantings and annual maintenance projects in the Grove and Island to maintain each public access area’s natural beauty, reduce erosion, and prevent sediment run off into the lake. Since 2003, CLC volunteers have been cleaning up Route 16 when it adopted the two-mile stretch which starts at Heavenly Hill and runs north the length of the lake.
Water Quality: Chocorua Lake is very shallow, with an average depth of 12 feet. As a result, sunlight reaches through most of the water column. Thus, even low concentrations of nutrients are readily available to algae and other plant life that occur throughout the lake. Thanks to the CLC’s efforts, about 95% of the Chocorua Lake watershed is now protected through conservation covenants and easements which have preserved wooded buffers around the lake. In the early 1970s, the CLC persuaded the NH State Legislature to ban all motorboats from Chocorua Lake and successfully defended that ban again in 1998. Since 1978, the CLC has been tracking the water quality in Chocorua Lake in a partnership with the UNH Center for Freshwater Biology. In 2001, the CLC was awarded a “Conservation Award of the Year” by the Carroll County Conservation District for the CLC’s work on the “Berms & Swales” project, which resulted in a 92% reduction in phosphorus runoff into the lake.
Education & Outreach: The CLC organizes educational field workshops for CLC members, local residents and the public. Past topics have included: sustainable forestry; water quality monitoring; invasive species identification; mushrooming; edible plant foraging; animal tracks; fern identification; and stream habitats. The CLC publishes two educational newsletters a year.
Volunteer Opportunities & Community-Building: The CLC organizes volunteer opportunities and activities for CLC members, which include highway cleanups, water quality monitoring, invasive plants removal, summer cookouts, tennis tournaments, a picnic in the Grove, a nighttime Parade of Lights on the lake, and an annual meeting.
To support our efforts to preserve the Chocorua Lake Basin and provide public access to visitors to the lake and nearby conservation lands, please click HERE.