The Chocorua Lake Conservancy was formed in 2014 through the merger of sister non-profit organizations, the Chocorua Lake Association (CLA) and Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF). The CLA and CLCF were founded simultaneously in the late 1960s to fulfill the vision of early visitors who came to Chocorua in the latter part of the 19th century – the idea that they should not encroach upon the natural beauty and splendor of the Chocorua Lake Basin. For a hundred years, local residents followed that tradition.
But in the 1950s, it was becoming clear that there were new and serious pressures for additional houses and commercial development. As early as 1953, a number of local property owners began discussing the establishment of an organization to formalize many of the long-standing but unstated practices into binding safeguards for the Chocorua Lake Basin, but it was not until the mid 1960s that the effort achieved real momentum. In 1967, property owners hired Hans Klunder Associates, a professional land-planning firm from Hanover, New Hampshire, to study the situation.
Based on the Klunder Report’s recommendations, in 1968 the local residents simultaneously created the CLA and the CLCF. The CLA was created as a nonprofit, membership organization charged with working with state and local government. The CLCF was created as a non-profit trust that could own and manage property for conservation purposes.
The Klunder Report also recommended that a mechanism for voluntary restrictions, or conservation covenants, on land usage be introduced, with the CLCF holding and monitoring the covenants. In the first five years, practically all of the land immediately surrounding Chocorua Lake was placed under conservation covenant. The conservation covenants allow only residential use, require a minimum eight acre lot size and control building height and setbacks. They also prohibit billboards, commercial extraction of sand and gravel, alterations to natural drainage, and clear cutting within 150 feet of Chocorua Lake.
Since their creation, the CLA, CLCF and CLC have relied on a corps of board members, committee members and other volunteers to accomplish their work. These volunteers have not only regularly worked with landowners to conserve their land through gifts, or purchases of land parcels or conservation easements, but they have also attended to necessary stewardship responsibilities and maintaining areas for public use. Board members, committee members, and other volunteers perform many of the various tasks that are required to keep a small land trust successfully functioning.
In May 2016, the CLC hired Lynne Flaccus as a full-time Stewardship Director. Lynne is the organization’s first full-time employee in its history. She is responsible for advancing the CLC’s stewardship program, which entails the managing or stewarding 3,800 acres of protected land in the Chocorua Lake Basin.
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