Landowners donate acreage, easement to Land Trust
SALISBURY — The Salisbury Association Land Trust (SALT) greeted 2023 with two conservation gifts that will keep on giving: 43 undeveloped acres atop Sugar Hill Road in the Amesville section of town, and a Forever-Wild Conservation Easement encompassing 82 acres on Dugway Road.
Both transactions were finalized in December and announced by SALT on Jan. 9.
The Sugar Hill Road property, donated by Owen and Jennifer Thomas, connects with the land trust’s 205- acre Prospect Mountain Preserve, as well as the National Park Service Appalachian Trail land.
At the request of the Thomases, the Sugar Hill Road site will be called Inka’s Woods, named after the family’s much-loved dog.
According to John Landon, chairman of SALT’s acquisition committee, there is an existing connector trailgoing through the property, the Limestone Springs Trail, which leads to the Limestone Springs Shelter and the Appalachian Trail.
In a separate transaction last month, the land trust also accepted a Forever-Wild Conservation Easement from John and Betsy Sprague. The easement protects 82 acres of highly visible forested landscape of ecological and geological significance on the northwest side of Brinton Hill, also known as Gallows Hill.
The tract abuts 66 acres of previously protected forever-wild lands, and the Sprague Easement expands protection on Brinton Hill to almost 150 acres. The new easement also protects 1,716 feet of road frontage, much of it directly along the Housatonic River.
“The Forever-Wild designation ensures that native processes, not the hand of man, guides the succession of this forest into the old-growth stage,” said Landon. Old growth forest, he noted, is extremely rare in Connecticut and is notable for its long-term stability, complexity and species diversity.
To help with Sprague closing costs, SALT received its first Transaction Assistance Grant from the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC).
Jeanette Weber, president of the Salisbury Association, noted that both the Thomases and Spragues hope their donations will inspire other landowners to consider conservation efforts for their land.