Colrain property now a conservation area

  • A portion of the 86 acres owned by the Eckstein family along North Green River Road in Colrain. The Franklin Land Trust has placed the acreage under permanent conservation restrictions. Contributed Photo

  • Will Sloan Anderson, land steward with Franklin Land Trust, and Paul Eckstein along the Green River on the Eckstein farm in Colrain. Contributed Photo

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

COLRAIN — About 86 acres of farm fields and woods along North Green River Road, owned by the Eckstein family, are now a permanent conservation area.

The Franklin Land Trust has placed the land under permanent conservation restrictions, preserving it for agriculture, natural habitat, and providing scenic and recreational benefits to the town and region.

The land was purchased by the Max Eckstein family in 1968, and it includes 30 acres of fields that have been farmed for at least 50 years. Those fields are currently hayed by Bree-Z-Knoll Farm in Leyden.

About 56 acres of woods provide habitat for a rare or endangered species, and are managed for wildlife habitat, forest health and timber quality.

“My father and I have always had the intention to keep the land the way it was when we got it, and protect the natural beauty,” said Paul Eckstein. “I take the responsibility of caring for this magical land as a blessing and cherish the opportunity to share it with my family.”

The land owners have always allowed public access for hunting and fishing, which will not change, now that the land is conserved, according to Emily Boss, land protection specialist with the Franklin Land Trust.

The Land Trust says the conservation will not change Colrain’s tax assessment on the land, since the Ecksteins withheld potential building lots out of the conservation area, and the development lots will now be taxed at a higher rate.

The Franklin Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization that has permanently conserved at least 32,000 acres of land in western Massachusetts, including farms and woodlands, wild forests, trails, scenic hills, rivers and streams.