Paul C. Jones Working Forest

On May 29, 2012, 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. Read more about the process.

Named by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism as one of the “Best 1000 Places” in the state, The Paul C Jones Working Forest provides a largely undeveloped and uninterrupted 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:

  • Maintains clean air and clean water for future generations
  • Provide valuable habitat for wildlife and protected species
  • Promotes sustainable forestry, actively managing land for timber production
  • Prohibits residential and commercial development, and ensures no buildings or towers will be constructed
  • Demonstrates Cowls’ long-term commitment to sustainable forestry practices, benefiting the economy by continuing to provide a supply of timber, firewood, and other local wood products
  • Prohibits motorized vehicle use, except for snowmobiles and the owner’s use of forestry-related equipment
  • Guarantees public access for hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, and other passive recreation
  • Maintains the rural character of the Valley, a priceless part of our local quality of life