|The Nature Conservancy To Remove Egremont House|
|Staff Reports , |
12:15PM / Saturday, November 04, 2023
|Part of the purchase agreement was that the Friedman Family, owners of the 1,475-square-foot cabin at 84 Jug End Road, could use the house for 20 years until 2022, after which it would be leased to TNC for demolition.|
EGREMONT, Mass. — Twenty-one years ago, The Nature Conservancy, Egremont Land Trust, and the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Conservation and Recreation protected 213 acres of forested lands in Mt. Washington and Egremont, Mass., in the Berkshires.
The parcel is part of a 36,000-acre intact forest block which includes the headwaters of Karner Brook, an area of critical environmental concern and a public water supply for Egremont residents. The land was ultimately transferred to the Town of Egremont, however, a family house remained on the property until this week.
Part of the purchase agreement was that the Friedman Family, owners of the 1,475-square-foot cabin at 84 Jug End Road, could use the house for 20 years until 2022, after which it would be leased to TNC for demolition.
This week, TNC is demolishing and removing the house, located up a steep half-mile slope, in the interest of restoring the land to its natural state. The unpaved driveway to the house will be used for access to the overall property, and invasive plants in the area will be removed.
Pine boards and cabinetry were salvaged by the Hi-Rock YMCA Camp. The boards will be used in a refurbishment of some of the camp's cabins in Mt. Washington, Mass. TNC leases land to the camp as well.
"This house, nestled in a large forested and mountainous area in the Southern Berkshires, was fragmenting the forest," said TNC's Director of Stewardship Karen Lombard. "It's our mission to protect and restore ecosystems to protect plant and animal habitats, a conservation goal across the state, the country, and the world."
In 2015, TNC removed another house nearby in Egremont as part of its "re-wilding" and watershed protection efforts.
The Town of Egremont is equally pleased with progress.
"This house was located in our critical public watershed area, so we are grateful to The Nature Conservancy for spearheading this work and for both improving habitat and protecting our town water supply," said David Seligman, Chairman of the Conservation Commission in Egremont, a town with 1,200 residents.