Last year, Hilltown Land Trust partnered with Kestrel Land Trust, MassWildlife, four towns, and seven landowners to conserve nearly 1,000 acres in Westhampton, Williamsburg, Northampton, and Chesterfield. This conserved land, called the Brewer Brook Forest Conservation Project, lies within a 6,000-acre expanse of mostly undeveloped forest, considered among the top 10% of forestlands to protect in Massachusetts. Conserving this land protects an important network of connected woodlands and wildlands—one of the last such unbroken forests in the Commonwealth.
This area connects an enormous block of protected lands, from Gilbert Bliss State Forest, Hiram Fox Wildlife Management Area, and Knightville Dam and Recreation Area to smaller protected areas like Dead Branch State Forest, Brewer Brook Wildlife Management Area, Ram Hill Conservation Area, and the Marble Brook and Mineral Hills Conservation areas in Northampton.
The Brewer Brook landscape provides critical habitat for wildlife, has high climate-change resilience, and is an important corridor for wildlife stretching from eastern New York to southern Vermont. In fact, you could walk through the Brewer Brook Forest for 9 miles and only cross one road! The development of this scenic forest would have a devastating impact on wildlife and on our community. It is where locals have hiked, hunted, fished, and experienced the solitude of this beautiful place for generations. So how can we protect more?
When we embarked on the Brewer Brook Forest Conservation Project, we only viewed it as Phase I. Hilltown Land Trust and Kestrel Land Trust are looking for owners of large parcels of land to launch a Phase II, expanding and connecting existing nodes of conserved land in Brewer Brook Forest. In this short video, you can find a celebration of what we have achieved so far, and what more can be protected with the help of willing landowners and their neighbors.
Are you a forest landowner in this project area? Send us a message or call (413) 628-4485, ext 2.
Interested in supporting this project and conserving the Hilltowns you love? Make a gift today to help conserve and take care of this land! Thank you for your support.