A recent land deal has protected more than 500 acres of forest in Mansfield, Storrs and Willington. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
It took more than six years to put the deal together. The University of Connecticut, the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association helped broker the transaction which includes several parcels:
300 acres of forest in Willington, known as the Moss Forest Tract is owned by the University and used for forest research. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association now holds a 50-year conservation restriction on that land.
135 acres of mature hardwood forest in Storrs is now owned by the Town of Mansfield.
And 96 acres of hardwood forest on the eastern bank of the Fenton River is now owned by U Conn .
The Connecticut Forest and Park Association holds conservation easements on both parcels in perpetuity
Eric Hammerling, Executive Director of CFPA says part of the Nipmuk Trail, which runs along the Fenton River, will also be protected forever.
“It actually is the largest trail conservation action that our organization has ever taken. There are 825 miles of blue blazed hiking trails around state but very little of that system has easements that protect it in perpetuity and that’s what was accomplished along the Fenton River.”
Hammerling says the trail is an outstanding place to hike, fish and bird watch.
For WNPR, I’m Nancy Cohen.