Published on October 19, 2021

Help Us Connect 25,000 Acres in the Berkshires!

View of the landscape around the Minery property in Western Mass

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Mass Audubon has an opportunity to permanently protect 180 acres abutting our Cold Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, connecting it to over 25,000 acres of other protected land. Conserving this land in the Lower Berkshire Hills ecoregion will also strengthen the area's natural resilience to the impacts of climate change.

We have been working for 15 years to secure a successful conservation outcome for this land. Now we're almost there, but we need your help to raise the last $114,000.

What Makes This Land Special

Baby porcupine in tree © David Blad
Porcupine © David Blad

This undeveloped property, owned by the Estate of Robert Minery, is located in Sandisfield and Otis—an area where Mass Audubon has made a concerted, sustained effort to conserve and connect large tracts of high-quality forests and wetlands.

Forests on these 180 acres are primarily hemlock and northern hardwoods, with tree species that include sugar maple, American elm, bitternut hickory, and eastern hemlock. A coldwater stream originates near the northern section of the sanctuary, and is an unnamed tributary to the federally-designated Wild & Scenic Farmington River found just to the east of the project site.

The land provides habitat for a wide range of mammals (black bear, moose, bobcat, mink, and porcupine) as well as foraging, breeding, and migratory habitat for many bird species including Sharp-shinned Hawks. It also serves as a critical "bridge" for native wildlife by connecting Cold Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to the nearby Sandisfield and Tolland State Forests.

Why This Matters

Map showing the Minery property & nearby protected areas

Conserving these 180 acres would create a protected corridor allowing wildlife to move safely during seasonal migrations, a primary conservation priority due to climate change. Preventing the development of this forest would also mean minimizing threats to the integrity of over one-quarter mile of coldwater stream and associated wetlands, since most of the stream's length would be protected by Mass Audubon or the state.

Permanently protecting the Minery property will:

  • Facilitate safe wildlife movement through the area
  • Diminish the threat of pollutants entering nearby streams
  • Eliminate the potential for fragmentation of an unspoiled natural area
  • Preserve critical existing wildlife habitat

Make an Impact

We can't do this without you! In order to make this happen, we need to raise $114,000.

Your support today will help protect this land for people and wildlife forever.

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To make a gift by phone, or for more information, please contact our Development office at 781-259-2123 or by email.