To Our Shareholders:
Thank you! for being an important part of the Squam Rock Land Trust. We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting at 7:30 July 19th in the Annisquam Village Hall. In the interim, we’d like to update you on the Pasture restoration initiative. We hope this letter will clarify where we are in the process and where we are headed, so that we can all move forward to accomplish our common goal of preserving this historic and exquisite property for optimal future enjoyment.
The Impetus Behind a New Pasture Management Plan
At the last SRLT Annual meeting many of the shareholders expressed concern regarding the ecological health of the pasture and beach area. A formal request was made to “form a committee with the intent and expertise to research and develop an updated management plan with the objective of conserving the land as an ecologically diverse, sustainable and resilient natural space for the use of the SRLT shareholders”.
Thus began our quest to reconcile the concept of preservation as declared in the revised Trust of 1953* with today’s environmental realities and shareholder interests.
A Pivotal Time
Much has been learned regarding best land management practices since the SRLT Trust was formed. In addition, Federal and state laws have since been put in place to protect vulnerable ecosystems, natural resources, and wildlife.
Finally, climate change is putting pressure on ecosystems worldwide, including the Pasture.
To improve the resiliency and ecological health of the property and safeguard it for future use, it is vitally important to implement measures that will increase the stability and biodiversity of both the shoreline and the upland areas.
We believe that all management efforts to preserve the property should be grounded in the best ecological science. The trustees, with the assistance of the committee, solicited opinions from experts and subsequently hired DeRosa Environmental Consulting Inc., to create a restoration plan. Their ideas for restoration and preservation have been presented to the shareholders via a zoom session and a walk-through of the property.
Shareholder input was gathered, considered and worked into the plan approach below. Some of the consultant’s ideas were much more aligned with the legacy of the property and shareholder preferences than others. The Trustees have no intention of adopting them all.
A Shifted Course
We are working toward an overarching plan for restoration and maintenance of the Pasture that will be detailed and implemented in phases. Given what we now know about the existing condition of the property, the forecast for accelerating climate change, and the interests and desires of the shareholders, we have done two key things: established guiding principles for the overall restoration and chosen two initiatives for immediate focus.
2. We have prioritized two initiatives for vulnerable areas - the shoreline where native plants are being strangled by invasives and the soil will become increasingly susceptible to erosion from rising sea levels and stronger storms, and the wetlands which need remediation due to human misuse and ongoing damage from invasive species.
The Trustees and the committee look forward to seeing you at the Annual meeting where we will discuss the overall approach and topline strategies for the first two initiatives.
We are very grateful to all shareholders who have engaged in this conversation and who have relayed their thoughts and ideas to the trust. We are dedicated to a continued dialogue with all of you as we move towards our shared goal of preserving the SRLT for generations to come.
We’ll be talking about a means of providing shareholders with easier, more frequent access to information regarding the Pasture at the Annual Meeting.
Bill Colby, Sue Harris, Steve Langer, SRLT Trustees
Lisbeth Bornhofft, Paul Horovitz, Peg Ris
SRLT Land Management Committee Members
*The trustee’s core responsibilities include “to preserve the beach of the Bent pasture and adjoining areas as a desirable place for the bathing and recreation for such residents of Annisquam as may desire to use the property and to prevent undesirable development of the upland area of such property.”
June 24, 2022
In 1935 a group of Annisquam residents created the Squam Rock Land Trust as a vehicle to buy and hold the present day 12+ acre Pasture parcel which includes the beach overlooking Ipswich Bay and the Annisquam Lighthouse. The Trust was formed to preserve the beach of the Bent pasture (i.e., Lighthouse Beach) and the adjoining areas, as a desirable place for bathing and recreation for those residents of Annisquam who may desire to use the property, and to prevent undesirable development of the upland areas. The Trust creators financed the purchase and it’s maintenance by selling shares and temporary beach use passes to the folks that resided in Annisquam.
The Trust now has approximately 500 shareholders and is managed by three trustees elected by shareholders at an annual meeting. Shareholders pay a yearly assessment to cover taxes and yearly beach pass fees and voluntary contributions pay for other expenses including insurance, security and maintenance.
Annisquam residents, summer, winter or both, are eligible to become a shareholder by purchasing a share at the current cost of $100 which allows them to use the property year round and to buy a yearly beach use card at a reduced cost for summer access when beach use is limited to card holders only. Alternatively residents can buy just the beach card every year as long as the Trustees continue to authorize the sale of them to
Current trustees are Steve Langer, Sue Harris and Bill Colby. Questions, comments or requests for share or beach card applications may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail, to
Squam Rock Land Trust
PO Box 6075,
Gloucester, MA 01931