Deering Wildlife Sanctuary

Deering Wildlife Sanctuary

890 Acres
3.4 Miles of Trails
Deering, NH

In 1979, longtime conservationist and Audubon friend Ruth Crary Young donated 485 acres of her land to the Society after she accepted Audubon’s wildlife habitat management proposal. The gift was accompanied by an endowment to help support the basic maintenance of the property, which enables Audubon to fulfill its stewardship obligation and ensure the continued protection and preservation of this wildlife habitat for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations.

A 21-acre parcel of land in the middle of the Sanctuary, which includes the circa 1830 Ermin Smith Farm homestead and another home, remains in private ownership, but there is a conservation easement that protects this land from future development. Ruth Crary Young died in 1988, leaving an additional bequest to the Society to support Audubon’s land conservation program. The original gift provided the seed for the continuing land protection of the area.

In addition to the conservation easement on the private property within the Sanctuary, Audubon currently has Grantee interest in three easements on adjoining properties; which totals 51 acres. The Grantor of these conservation easements recognized the importance of protecting the conservation vales of the land and preserving the character of the town of Deering for all to enjoy. At the same time, the Grantors, and subsequent owners, will enjoy the continued use of these protected land for forestry, maple sugaring, and other activities. The easements protect these lands in perpetuity, with the owners serving as conservation stewards of their land.

In 1997, another 133 acres, the “Lazy Brown” homestead, were added to the Sanctuary, bringing the total mosaic of protected lands to 690 acres. The land north of North Road was opened to deer hunting.

Building a large block of protected lands is very important for wildlife. For many species of animals, from moose to invertebrates, unfragmented lands are important for maintaining a sustainable population. Fewer roads means less mortality for migrating turtles, frogs, and salamanders. Corridors of protected lands that link one area to another are essential for species that move from one place to another or have large territories. The protected lands and wetlands that comprise the Deering Wildlife Sanctuary will continue to provide habitat for wildlife, scenic enjoyment and recreational opportunities for visitors, and a healthy environment for future generations.

Photo, top: Deering Sanctuary, by Diane De Luca.