470 Acres Saved

In the first half of 2012, a local land trust saved 470 acres of farmland, forest, and wetlands from being turned into parking lots, strip malls, and other so-called “development.” Kristin DeBoer, the director of Kestrel Land Trust in Amherst, made the announcement on July 3.

Between January and June, the group saved the following Pioneer Valley land:

~147 acres of forestland, pasture, and wetlands on Teawaddle Hill Farm on Teawaddle Hill Road in Leverett, near Amherst;

~121 acres of forest in Northampton and Westhampton;

~82 acres of prime farmland among four farms along the Connecticut River;

~69 acres on Mt. Warner in Hadley;

~32 acres of grassland added to the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge;

~19 acres of forested land on the Mount Holyoke Range.

More information about the Kestrel Land Trust is at www.KestrelTrust.org

The vast majority of land in the Valley is still unprotected and vulnerable to being paved with roads, parking lots, “McMansion” vacation homes that are usually vacant, Wal-Marts, and other so-called “development.”

Between 1960 and 2000, approximately two-thirds of the farmland in New Hampshire was lost to development. In 1960, the state had 1.2 million acres of farmland; in 2000, it had 420,000 acres. That’s according to Amanda Costello, manager of the Cheshire County Conservation District

www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/offices.html#walpole

in Walpole, NH, near Keene. She was quoted in the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper.

More information about land use in the Valley – including a map of protected land -- is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/node/137

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