Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Land trust to protect 38 acres in Chesterfield

The Hilltown Land Trust will hold a public forum Monday to provide information on a requested conservation restriction on property located on Indian Hollow Road.

The 38-acre property to be protected spans both sides of Indian Hollow Road in Chesterfield, with eight acres on the east side and 30 acres to the west. The land is owned by sisters Grace Kingsbury and Alice Williams.

“The landowners had contacted us some time ago wanting to learn more about options for protecting this land that has been in their family since 1864,” Hilltown Land Trust representative Sally Loomis said. “The conservation restriction will allow them to maintain ownership of the property while ensuring that land will be protected now and into the future,” she said The purpose of the conservation restriction is to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and the area’s scenic view. The property has also been identified as containing “Core Habitat” — land suitable for rare, vulnerable or uncommon animal and plant species — and “Critical Natural Landscapes” — areas that support and maintain habitat connectivity and enhance ecological resilience.

The conservation restriction places permanent limits on the use of the land. This restriction will only allow agricultural, forestry, hunting, fishing and recreational uses at the discretion of the current and future landowners.

The project has qualified for a Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax credit which will give 50 percent of the value of land up to $50,000 back to the landowners. Participation in this program is contingent on the project closing by the end of December 2012.

“We are not required to hold an informational meeting, the Select Board just wanted to make sure that people knew what was going on in town,” Loomis said.

The informational meeting will be Monday, at 5 p.m., in the Select Board Office at the Davenport Town Office Building, 422 Main Road.

For more information, contact The Hilltown Land Trust at 628-4485, ext 2.

— FRAN RYAN

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