About Us

The Cowls family tree has been firmly planted in North Amherst for almost 300 years.

Since 1741, Cowls has been sustainably managing timberland and building the Pioneer Valley from its Home Farm in North Amherst, MA. Settling first Hadley, MA and then Amherst, Cowls is proud to have supplied the lumber and timbers that built the Pioneer Valley’s first homes. Today we are well known as Massachusetts’ largest private landowner.

Over the past three hundred years, Cowls’ Home Farm has produced and distributed onions, tobacco, and dairy products. Also from the Home Farm offices, Cowls built and ran a rock quarry; constructed a street railway system; created innumerable residential and commercial subdivisions; ran a sawmill and a planing mill; operated a building supply store; and managed diverse residential and commercial properties and thousands of acres of timberland.

Today, 9 generations strong, this family business continues to conserve and sustainably manage timberland; operate a retail building supply store; and buy, sell, develop, and manage real estate.

W.D. Cowls, Inc. recognizes that its forests provide numerous benefits to the Company and the community. In managing its lands, Cowls is committed to an overarching principle of sustainability, economic viability and public spirit.  Cowls will not post its land unless public use is abused via land use takings; dumping; road/culvert/special site destruction; protests of or impacts to Cowls logging operations; activist threats; actions taken to limit landowner’s land use; or other unacceptable events. Please review our Permissive Use Policy

Cowls is the proud recipient of several awards including:

2005 National Hardwood Lumber Association Forest Stewardship Award
2007 International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Forest Stewardship Award
2007 Business West Forty under 40 Award (CHJ)
2007 BASF American Tree Farm System Award for Outstanding Achievements in Sustainable Forestry
2008 Department of the Interior Cooperative Conservation Award
2008 Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts Friend of SAM Award
2012 Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Award
2013 Forest Landowners Association Young Forest Landowner of the Year (CHJ)
2013 Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce A+ Award for Most Valuable Player Award (CHJ)
2016 Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Sustainability Award