Paul C. Jones Working Forest

On May 29, 2012, after several years of negotiations, W.D. Cowls proudly joined Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, the Kestrel Land Trust, Smokey Bear, and the USDA Forest Service to dedicate the Paul C. Jones Working Forest, thereby creating the largest contiguous, privately owned block of permanently conserved forest land in the history of the Commonwealth.

The project protects in perpetuity 3,486 acres of working forest on and around Brushy Mountain in Leverett and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. It was named in honor of the late Paul C Jones, the 8th generation leader of W.D. Cowls Brushy Mountain. Read more about the process.

Named by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism one of the “Best 1000 Places” in the state, The Paul C Jones Working Forest provides a large, relatively undeveloped, and unfragmented forest habitat that contains many native plant and animal species, including moose, whitetail deer, wild turkey, bobcat, black bear, porcupine, snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse, songbirds, and a variety of amphibians. The conservation of this forest and its associated wetlands and streams protects this significant habitat.

Dedication Ceremony Video

In addition, the Conservation Restriction:

  • Promotes sustainable forestry, actively managing land for timber production
  • Ensures no buildings or towers will be constructed
  • Prohibits motorized vehicle use except for snowmobiles and the owner’s use of forestry-related equipment
  • Prohibits residential and commercial development
  • Helps maintain clean air and clean water for future generations
  • Demonstrates Cowls’ long-term commitment to sustainable forestry practices and to benefiting the economy by continuing to provide a supply of lumber, firewood, and other local wood products
  • Guarantees public access for hunting, fishing, and hiking
  • Maintains the rural character of the Valley, which so many residents cherish as a priceless part of our local quality of life