The Webb family lost their beloved patriarch, Richard “Dick” Webb, on July 6, 2016 just shy of his 95th birthday and the Mt. Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area lost one of the most dedicated and influential conservationists and tree farmers of our time. Of the more than 3,400 acres of land the Webb family has protected, 549 of those acres, on four separate easements, are held by Ausbon Sargent. Dick and his family collaborated with the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and the Town of New London in the protection of the remaining acres.
Dick Webb graduated from Yale University and served in WWII before making Harding Hill Farm, in Sunapee, his home in 1948. Though not formally trained in forestry, Dick Webb became a pioneer in progressive tree farming methods and the use of conservation easements. Dick realized that for tree farmers to have enough land for sustainable growth and harvesting of trees, they would need relief from property tax rates based on development resale values. In 1967, with the help of other early conservationists and legal and environmental counsel, Dick crafted a “Deed of Dedication” on 703 acres on Morgan Hill in New London. At the time, this “Deed of Dedication” was the precursor of today’s conservation easement and the first of its kind in New Hampshire.
Dick and his wife, Betsy, were married in 1951 and raised their six children at Harding Hill Farm embracing Yankee traditions, strong work ethics and the value of being good neighbors and stewards of the land, Dick and Betsy’s fourth son, Van and Van’s son, Tyler, each trained in forest management, continue the work that Dick began, but Richard “Dick” Webb will be forever remembered and loved and his dedication to conservation will be a lasting legacy.
Read a wonderful tribute to the Webb's written by Nancy Lyon for our 2006 Summer Chatter.
Search for specific Webb protected properties in the towns of Sunapee, Springfield, New London and Wilmot by clicking here.