State Buys Forest Land for $8.8M
Published on Saturday, December 24, 2011 in General Announcements, In The News, News & Updates
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A 5.4-square-mile forest in Leverett and Shutesbury will be protected from development through a land conservation restriction announced today by state officials who called it the largest of its kind in Massachusetts history.

The Brushy Mountain land restriction will protect 3,486 acres of working forest and adjacent land in the towns of Leverett and Shutesbury which is owned by the North Amherst-based W.D. Cowls Inc., protecting the land from development and vehicular traffic, but guaranteeing public access for hunting, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. reports that Cowls, which began acquiring the parcels in 1886, will continue to manage the land for timber production.

“This acquisition protects a very large, unfragmented forest ecosystem – an important climate change adaptation strategy,” Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. said in a statement. “Equally important, it protects a vital working landscape that supports a sustainable, local forest industry.”

Massachusetts forestry operations contribute $600 million a year to local rural economies.

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