Massachusetts: Quabbin protected with $3.5 million in conservation grants

Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts is known as the “accidental
wilderness” because no one envisioned a wildlife haven when four towns
were submerged to build one of the world’s largest public drinking
water supplies in the 1930s. But today, the lands around the 39-square
mile reservoir are a lure for dozens of species including bear, moose,
fox, deer, porcupine, fisher and bobcat.

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Eight rare species – including the Harpoon Clubtail dragonfly and the American bittern – are also found in the region. Still, the region around the Quabbin is not completely protected for all the animals that use it. But now, thanks to a four-year, 19-landowner, multi-million conservation project, close to 2,000 acres of forest are being conserved to allow wildlife to easily move between Quabbin conservation lands and other protected places.

Five of the 19 landowners sold their property outright to the state while the others sold conservation easements which allow them to continue logging their land – but never subdivide it. The 2,000 acres are now part of 80,000
acres of protected habitat among the rural homes and farms
Phillipston, Petersham, and Barre.

“The complexity of the project meant several layers of bureaucracy, a
challenge to the landowners and everyone involved,” Leigh Youngblood,
Executive Director of Mount Grace. “For the animals and people, this
Quabbin corridor is so important.” Called the Quabbin Corridor
Connection, the project was funded in large part with a $3 million
grant from the federal Forest Legacy Program.

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Comments (1)

d.o.February 18th, 2009 at 11:14 am

This is good news, but what about the clearcutting that’s going on there??

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