Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Attends Leverett Forest Dedication
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick spent the morning in the foothills of Brushy Mountain in Leverett, Massachusetts today to celebrate what has become a big year for land conservation in the town. Patrick joined a crowd of more than 200 environmental officials, lawmakers, conservationists and community members as they dedicated the Paul C. Jones Working Forest. Patrick touted the new "working forest" conservation restriction as a monumental achievement for the state.
"We have to begin to bring not just into our government but into our lives this notion that each of us in our time is supposed to do what we can to leave things better for those who come behind us."
The 5.4 square mile tract encompasses almost all of Brushy Mountain and extends into Sunderland. The parcels were acquired by the Cowls family over more than 100 years. The new "working forest" designation protects the land from development and guarantees public access for recreational activities like hunting and fishing.
Cinda Jones is president of W.D. Cowls Inc. -- the company that will continue to own and manage the parcel. She says the designation also allows for sustainable forest management. She says that would be important to her father -- for whom the parcel is named.
"My dad taught me and Evan there's a critical balance between conservation and development."
The US Department of Agriculture Forest Legacy Program provided 5-million dollars for the project, whose overall price tag is nearly 10-million. Patrick and local conservationists hinted that another large-scale Forest Legacy effort is underway in Western Massachusetts, but would give no details.