Launched in 2003, the Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative (Q2C) is a collaborative,
landscape-scale effort to conserve the Monadnock Highlands of north-central
Massachusetts and western New Hampshire. The two-state region spans one hundred
miles from the Quabbin Reservoir northward to Mount Cardigan and the White
Mountain National Forest, and is bounded to the east and west by the Merrimack
and Connecticut River Valleys.
Encompassing approximately two million acres, the
Quabbin to Cardigan region is one of the largest remaining areas of intact,
interconnected, ecologically significant forest in central New England, and is a
key headwater of the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers. The Q2C region's forests
collect and naturally filter drinking water for almost 200 cities and towns
including the City of Boston.
Habitat conservation in the region is a high
priority for both the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plans
(SWAPs), and the region’s interconnected forests could also prove an important
north-south corridor for wildlife adapting their ranges to a changing climate.
Its managed timberlands are an important source of forest products and renewable
energy, and are a highly-efficient carbon sink.
The region contains numerous
public and private recreation areas and several well-maintained long-distance
hiking trails, including a portion of the 190-mile
Metacomet-Monadnock-Mattabesett (MMM) Trail System, which is currently under
consideration for National Scenic Trail designation.
View the Q2C Fact Sheet.