What are the town’s priorities for land conservation?
The Town of Amherst is focusing land preservation efforts on protecting farmland and prime agricultural soils, as well as those areas identified as priority habitat (for rare and endangered species), containing valuable natural resources, watershed lands that supply Amherst’s drinking water, and areas with large contiguous blocks of undeveloped open space. Click here to view the Open Space Plan
What guides the town’s approach to land conservation?
Protected land is essential to Amherst‘s appearance, economy, and well-being. Conservation land helps maintain the town‘s rural character, provides adequate land area for traditional and modern forms of outdoor recreation, and protects important wildlife habitat for both game and non-game species. Protected farmland provides a permanent base on which present and future farm businesses depend, and helps farm supported (i.e. grain/dairy processing, equipment repairs) businesses maintain a significant presence in Amherst and adjacent towns. Protected land also ensures clean water for wells and reservoirs supplying Town drinking water.
Identification and prioritization of these lands has determined the following sites to be critical to wildlife habitat, natural resource protection, and community enjoyment: The Pulpit Hill area, the Cushman Brook green belt, the Plum Brook green belt, the Mount Holyoke Range, including land south of Bay Road from the Belchertown line to the Hadley line.
Land Preservation Frequently Asked Questions – How do I
What are the steps necessary to preserving land?
Contact Dave Ziomek by email or phone to discuss your options. This is followed by a meeting with decision makers in your family about wishes and goals for the project; the town then conducts an appraisal to establish the fair market value of your land; options are then discussed relative to the approach to conservation: