Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed legislation approving a land swap deal in the Berkshires. The town of Lenox will give about 105 acres to the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Becky Cushing of Mass Audubon says the land fills a gap in the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
“We have over 1,200 acres, and this pocket up on the ridge line is a little pocket that is open, that is not yet protected as part of Mass Audubon. So we're trying to close that gap,” Cushing said.
In exchange, Mass Audubon is giving the town of Lenox more than 100 acres, part of Kennedy Park, a popular spot for hikers, runners and mountain bikers.
Cushing said the land Mass Audubon is getting is on Yokun Ridge.
“It’s just a logical swap, because now the town will be able to manage Kennedy Park in a more connected way and we Mass Audubon will be able to manage Pleasant Valley land in a more connected way,” she said, adding that the agreement was “years in the making.”
The bill was filed by Lenox state Representative Smitty Pignatelli and state Senator Adam Hinds of Pittsfield.
Carrie Healy contributed to this report.
Correction: Yokun Ridge was initially and incorrectly attributed as a "popular spot for hikers, runners and mountain bikers." The popular spot is Kennedy Park. Also, it's part of land Mass Aubudon is getting from Lenox, not vice versa.