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Paul C. Jones Working Forest

Leverett & Shutesbury, MA
Working Forest
3,486 acres

The Story

In May of 2012, more than 300 conservation leaders and community members gathered to mark an historic achievement: The permanent conservation of 3,486 acres of contiguous forest land on Brushy Mountain in Leverett and Shutesbury.

Governor Deval Patrick attended the event held at the Teawaddle Hill Farm in Leverett to recognize the significance of the largest conservation restriction (CR) on privately owned land in the Commonwealth’s history. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell congratulated the many partners who worked together to make this project happen.

Cinda Jones, President of W. D. Cowls, spoke of the legacy that her father, Paul C. Jones, provided by making the conservation of their family’s land possible. Kristin DeBoer, Kestrel Executive Director, reminded the audience of the valuable intangible benefits of having forest to enjoy. And, Congressman John Olver referred to the project as a “jewel in the crown” of the region’s environmental protection efforts.

Never before had Massachusetts had the opportunity to conserve such a large block of private land in a single conservation project. Kestrel and Franklin Land Trust worked closely with W. D. Cowls and the Massachusetts Dept. of Fish and Game to conserve nearly all of Brushy Mountain.

The CR on the Paul C. Jones Working Forest protects wildlife habitat on a landscape-scale, guarantees public access for hiking, hunting and fishing, and promotes sustainable forest management of the property. Cowls continues to own and manage the land for timber, but the CR, which is held by the State, prohibits residential and commercial development as well as recreational use by ATVs and Jeeps.

Project Partners

Franklin Land Trust
Open Space Institute
MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
MA Department of Fish & Game
US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program

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