August, 2013, Granville, MA-
Over 700 acres of productive forestland in Granville, Massachusetts have been permanently protected in a collaborative effort between the Hull family, the New England Forestry Foundation, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEA), and the town of Granville, MA. The conserved forestland protects Valley Brook, which is Granville’s largest stream and an important tributary to the Hartford Metroplican District’s Barkhamstead Reservoir, the primary water source for the city of Hartford, CT.
Hull Forestlands L.P., the Hull family land trust, granted a conservation easement for the 715 acres to the New England Forestry Foundation in June 2013. This land protection project is part of the Western Massachusetts Aggregation Project, which aims to create larger unfragmented parcels of land in central and western Massachusetts. The New England Forestry Foundation received a Landscape Partnership Grant from the MA EOEA in 2012 to pursue the project.
The Hull family, who already steward over 8,000 acres of permanently protected forestland in Massachusetts and Connecticut, had long expressed an interest in seeing the Granville forests protected. The newly conserved forests add to large contiguous tracts of conserved forestland in the area, including NEFF’s Phelon Memorial Forest, forests owned by the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), and those of other private landowners.
The Hull family’s Granville forests, called the “Noble & Cooley Forest” and the “Valley Brook Forest” will remain in their natural state and continue to provide a source of timber for generations to come. The Hull family will continue to pay taxes on the land annually to the town of Granville. (And since forestland pays more in taxes than it consumes in community services like education, water, and sewer, forestland is a net financial gain for the town compared to residential land.)
The Hull family own Hull Forest Products–the largest hardwood sawmill in the region–and their mission is to preserve working forests, grow trees, and manufacture wood products, thereby satisfying society’s demand for sustainable building materials and forest ecosystem benefits. Selectively harvested timber from the Valley Brook and Noble & Cooley forests will be turned into lumber, flooring, post & beam timbers, wood chips, and fuel wood. These private forests will also continue to provide public benefits that make them important to the region as a whole, including wildlife habitat, enhanced air and water quality, carbon sequestration, and their contribution to the rural character of New England.
For more information on the Western Massachusetts Aggregation Project: http://www.wildlandsandwoodlands.org/activities/protect-land/western-mass-pilot-aggregation-project
For more information on the New England Forestry Foundation: http://newenglandforestry.org/home.html
More information on Hull Forestlands’ Working Forest Conservation Efforts