The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts today announced the acquisition of 69 acres of upland forest and wetlands in a key landscape along the headwaters of Roberts Meadow Brook in Chesterfield.
The land is located in the heart of a 17,000-acre area of large, minimally fragmented forest lands. Protecting this landscape is a top Conservancy priority. As one of the best examples of intact forest in southern New England, these forest lands provide opportunities for conservation that supports water purification, carbon sequestration and critical habitat for numerous and diverse woodland species.
Protection of these 69 acres reduces the threat of forest fragmentation by roads and development, a top threat identified in the “State of Nature” conservation status report issued earlier this year by the Conservancy. Protection of the land also provides the opportunity to develop mature forest characteristics, an important and under-protected feature identified in the report, which analyzed conservation achievements and needs across a region stretching from Maine to Virginia.
The land, purchased from the Heirs of the Estate of Frank Snape Jr., borders both the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s 215-acre Brewer Brook Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and a 200-acre conservation restriction held by Kestrel Land Trust. Nearby are Dead Branch State Forest, additional state lands and a 32-acre Conservancy preserve along the Dead Branch Brook, a tributary of the Westfield River.
“The Snape family’s decision to protect this land as open space is a wonderful charitable outcome that contributes significantly to the forested landscape of Chesterfield and the surrounding Hilltowns.” said Markelle Smith, land protection specialist for the Conservancy. “We’re thankful, and we’re extremely happy to be able to add to the protected lands in the area.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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