Paul C. Jones Working Forest Conservation Restriction



Dedicated May 29, 2012

Thank you for celebrating my Dad, Cinda Jones

Cowls was proud to partner with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, the Kestrel Land Trust,and the Franklin Land Trust to conserve 3,486 acres of working forest on and around Brushy Mountain in Leverett and Shutesbury, Massachusetts.

The Paul C. Jones Working Forest, named in honor of the recently deceased 8th generation family leader, is the largest contiguous, privately-owned block of permanently conserved forest land in the Commonwealth.  It was acquired by the Cowls family in small parcels starting in 1886 and has been sustainably forested throughout the generations since.                      

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism recently named Brushy Mountain and its adjoining Rattlesnake Gutter one of the state’s “Best 1000 Places.”  Brushy Mountain was also highly desirable for conservation because it’s a key parcel in a very large interior forest block ranking in the top 10% in Massachusetts.

The mountain and surrounding vicinity provide a large, relatively undeveloped, and un-fragmented 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.

In addition, the Conservation Restriction:  

  •  promotes sustainable forestry – Cowls will continue to actively manage this land for timber production;
  • ensures no buildings or towers will be constructed;
  • prohibits motorized vehicle use, except for snowmobiles and owner’s forestry-related uses of equipment;
  • prohibits residential and commercial development;
  • helps maintain clean air and clean water for future generations;
  • demonstrates Cowls’ long-term commitment to sustainable forestry practices and to supply in lumber, firewood, and other local wood products, which are a significant contributor to the Massachusetts economy;
  • guarantees public access for hunting, fishing and hiking;
  • and maintains the rural character of the Valley, which so many residents cherish as a priceless part of our local quality of life.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I remember conservation leaders approaching my grandfather and then my father trying to buy Brushy Mountain, or put a conservation restriction on it. It’s been a longtime goal of both the state and land trusts. Kristin DeBoer of the Kestrel Trust finally won our confidence and our commitment after several years of trying and then four years of protracted negotiations. We’re proud to be dedicating this conservation achievement to my father.”        

- Cinda Jones, 9th Generation Co-owner and President




Project Overview

Public Access Plan (coming soon)


Video of Dedication Event, May 29, 2012

In the News:

State dedicates forest, The Republican, June 1, 2012

Gov Patrick lauds land deal, Amherst Bulletin, June 1, 2012

A Governor's Visit, Hampshire Gazette, May 30, 2012

December 23, 2011 Press Release

W.D.Cowls named 2012 Massachusetts Forest Steward Award Winner, The Woodland Steward 2012

Land deal preserves Brushy Mountain, Greenfield Recorder, December 24, 2011

Deal keeps large parcel of forest protected, The Boston Globe, December 24, 2011

8.8M deal preserves major forest tract, Hampshire Gazette, December 24, 2011

Deal conserves acres of forest, Springfield Republican, December 24, 2011

A forest's long view, Hampshire Gazette Editorial, December 26, 2011

Colossal deal preserves land in Leverett and Shutesbury, Amherst Bulletin, December 30, 2011

Into Brushy Mountain's Wilds, Hampshire Gazette, January 3, 2012

Up on Brushy Mountain, Montague Reporter, January 5, 2012

Image Gallery

Paul Jones Biography


Kestrel Land Trust
Franklin Land Trust
MA Department of Fish and Game
Open Space Institute
US Forest Legacy Program