Read highlights from conservation projects completed by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021—NEFF’s fiscal year. Banner image: Canopy of NEFF’s Venture Brook Community Forest, photo by Lauren Owens Lambert.
Royalston | MA | Community Forest | 88 Acres | Closed May 2020
Cynthia and Dick Perkins donated this forestland to NEFF as part of the Pooled Timber Income Fund. Perkins Woodlands is bisected by Stockwell Brook, and is nestled between Guiney Memorial Forest, Otter River State Forest, and the Birch Hill Dam. Cynthia and Dick also donated a conservation restriction on the property to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, which owns the neighboring Guiney Memorial Forest. Learn more about Cynthia and Dick Perkins’ involvement with NEFF.
Great Barrington | MA | Conservation Restriction | 216 Acres | Closed June 2020
Myrin Institute protected 216 acres of forest and vast wetlands through a conservation restriction to NEFF. The property, known as Myrin Preserve, forms part of a wooded and wetland wildlife corridor along the meandering Muddy Brook in the scenic Monument Valley, and is enjoyed by local birders and wildlife trackers. The restriction protects rare species habitat and enhances protection of nearby Beartown and East Mountain State Forests. The Nion Robert Thieriot Foundation and other private donors contributed to NEFF’s purchase of the restriction.
Townsend | MA | Conservation Restriction | 7 Acres | Closed September 2020
Mary West protected her family’s Christmas tree farm on the edge of Townsend State Forest by donating seven acres as an addition to NEFF’s existing West conservation restriction; Mary and her late husband Ed donated the existing restriction on 30 acres of forest in 2006 to NEFF and Townsend Conservation Land Trust as co-holders.
Whalen and Healdville Farm
Mount Holly | VT | Conservation Easement | 62 & 42 Acres | Closed October 2020
The Whalen family donated two conservation easements to NEFF with a combined 104 acres of woodlands and meadow; the family has owned much of the land for more than 100 years. Family members from across several generations and around the country collaborated to protect these family forest tracts. The property is located just west of Okemo State Forest, and the easements will protect part of cold-water Branch Brook and surrounding tributary streams that are important for aquatic habitat. They also enhance a 100-mile-long protected wildlife corridor—recently completed by Mount Holly Conservation Trust, the State of Vermont, and other groups—by creating a connection from the broader corridor into a large forest block that includes the family’s property with important bear wetland and deer wintering habitats.
Frenchman Bay Community Forest
Hancock | ME | Community Forest | 3,100 Acres | Closed October 2020
NEFF protected this parcel through fee ownership and combined its 3,100 acres, located near Egypt Bay in Hancock County, with the adjacent Frenchman Bay Community Forest, protected by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy. These combined properties bring the total protected Community Forest acreage to 4,530. NEFF’s Frenchman Bay tract offers important and interesting habitat features—like waterways and wetlands that support inland wading birds—and the overall Community Forest intersects with the 87-mile Down East Sunrise Trail. NEFF is managing the property for songbird habitat, specifically to create and support stop-over and nesting habitat for migratory songbirds within the framework of Exemplary Forestry standards.
Holmes Stream Community Forest
Whiting | ME | Community Forest | 2,690 Acres | Closed October 2020
Located along Holmes Bay in Downeast Maine, the 2,690-acre Holmes Stream Community Forest includes intact blocks of contiguous forestland as well as important wetland features like tidal estuarine habitat, found where Holmes Stream flows into the bay. The Holmes property abuts the State of Maine’s popular Cutler Coast Public Lands, a 12,234-acre expanse known for steep cliffs that plunge into the ocean. NEFF is also managing the Holmes Stream property for songbird habitat.
Venture Brook Community Forest
Edmunds | ME | Community Forest | 2,200 Acres | Closed December 2020
NEFF acquired this property as part of the Maine Coastal Forest Partnership effort to protect a suite of working forests across Downeast Maine, and it demonstrates in miniature the features that make the region’s interlaced network of forests and waterways ideal for cold-water fish. Streams and wetlands weave through the almost entirely forested Venture Brook Community Forest, and the forestland purifies and filters this water as it makes its way into the nearby Dennys River; trees in the riparian zone then shade the Dennys, and the end result is the kind of cool, clean river that young Atlantic Salmon need.
Charlemont | MA | Conservation Restriction | 41 | Closed December 2020
Kevin and Nicole Knobloch granted a second 41-acre conservation restriction to NEFF that adds to the 608 acres protected through their 2001 NEFF restriction; combined, these restrictions protect just over a square mile of land. The restriction includes the summit of Legate Hill and protects forestland near the headwaters of Rice Brook. This vast and rugged forest is situated on a high ridgeline, and is part of a larger area of protected land that serves as a wildlife corridor; taken together, these lands are one of the best examples of large, intact forests in Massachusetts. The Knobloch addition was part of the Warner Hill Neighborhood Conservation Project, which was coordinated by Franklin Land Trust with NEFF, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, and the towns’ conservation commission as partners, and funded in part through the state’s Landscape Partnership Grant program. This collaborative effort protected nearly 700 acres in the towns of Charlemont and Rowe.
David M. Smith Forest
Leverett | MA | Community Forest | 117 Acres | Closed December 2020
This property is part of the history of forestry in New England, as it was owned by David M. Smith, author of the touchstone forestry text, The Practice of Silviculture, and a long-time professor at Yale School of the Environment. Smith’s land in Leverett likely helped shape the practice of forest management as we know it today. Dr. Smith’s daughters, Nancy and Ellen Smith, donated it to NEFF as part of the Pooled Timber Income Fund. The Smith woodland—made up of mostly white pine and oak, hemlock, and mixed hardwoods—lies next to the Mosher Conservation Area, which is owned by the Rattlesnake Gutter Trust. The Rattlesnake Gutter Trust also holds a restriction on the Smith property and provides public access to the woodlands via recreational trails. Learn more about Smith and his forestland.