Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Welcomes "Milt's Woods"

Release Date:
May 2, 2018

LENOX, MA—Mass Audubon had added 15 and a half acres to its Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to a generous and far-sighted gift of land by journalist and novelist Ruth Bass.

Pleasant Valley encompasses more than a thousand acres of forest and wetland rising to Yokun Ridge, and the new parcel will enhance the wildlife sanctuary’s connections to Richmond while affording fine views of the Taconic Range to the west.

Ms. Bass has been a dedicated conservationist, as was her late husband—newspaper editor, theater critic, and columnist Milton Bass; she has made the donation in his honor.

“With the addition of our 15 acres, Pleasant Valley Sanctuary comes over the ridge from Lenox into Richmond.” she said. “We’ve been involved with the sanctuary since the 1970s when our children first went to day camp there and acquired a life-long fascination with nature.

“It was my husband, Milton, who was most intent on preserving that land, and so it now officially becomes ‘Milt’s Woods’,” Ms. Bass noted. “We are happy we can share land we’ve loved with those who visit Pleasant Valley, one of the Berkshire treasures.”

Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said, “This acquisition on the west side of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary not only enhances a larger complex of protected land in the Berkshires but also provides wildlife an important means by which to connect with other biologically rich lands in Lenox and Richmond.

“And we could not be more grateful to Ruth Bass and her late husband, Milton, who’ve personified the very best in environmental commitment and devotion to land,” Clayton added.


Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at