Land Preservation

A core mission of the Ashby Land Trust is to facilitate the preservation of land in Ashby. This mission is served in different ways

Conservation Restrictions: The Land Trust holds Conservation Restrictions (CRs) on properties. CRs are legal documents attached to the deed that restrict use of the property to conservation purposes. Specific details of the CRs are often tailored to the property in question. The Land Trust has accepted Conservation Restrictions from private parties wishing to protect their land in perpetuity, and also participated in CR transactions involving government agencies.

Waterfall on a privately held CR property in Ashby

Property Ownership: The Land Trust in general prefers to facilitate the preservation of land by means other than ownership by the Land Trust, but will accept properties if that works out to be the best way to preserve land.

Forest Legacy Program: The United States Forest Service, in partnership with the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, funds a program designed to keep privately owned forested land in forestry. The application process is somewhat complicated and the process is lengthy, but the outcome has been that numerous property owners in Ashby have sold development rights for full development value in exchange for conservation easements that are held by the Conservation Commission. The Ashby Land Trust has partnered with the Nashua River Watershed Application on several successful Forest Legacy applications involving numerous Ashby properties over the last 15 years. We help identify and nominate the properties and champion them through the process. As of January 2024, Forest Legacy new applications for three properties were in process in Ashby, totaling about 230 acres.

Coordination / Facilitation With Other Land Preservation Agencies: The Land Trust has assisted and provided local coordination for agencies such as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Massachusetts Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in land preservation efforts in Ashby.

Local Efforts: Land Trust members are also typically active in other local land preservation efforts, such as the acquisition of the Caton North Property using funds obtained from the Massachusetts Local Acquisition for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant program.