Thanks to the generosity of Alison Orr-Andrawes, the Wilderness Trust completed its first project in Connecticut in October 2012. Alison donated 85 acres of land in Falls Village in northwestern Connecticut, allowing the Trust to protect a beautiful landscape with an outstanding mix of forest habitats including a mountain stream, rocky outcrops, quiet glades, and majestic oak and hemlock stands.
The property is located on Canaan Mountain, perched above Under Mountain Road, and its conservation significantly advances the effort to protect the largest roadless area in Connecticut. The land is adjacent to Housatonic State Forest and the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve (a state-designated forever-wild sanctuary) and fills a key gap in the protected areas mosaic on Canaan Mountain. It also protects the fisheries habitat and water quality of an important tributary of the Hollenbeck River and Robbins Swamp, as well as views from across the Upper Housatonic Valley.
Ecologist Harry White of Colebrook, CT, Northeast Wilderness Trust’s project director for the transaction, said, “Because old-growth forest was the most common pre-settlement habitat type and is now among the rarest, the only route to restoration is to create permanently protected forest refuges that will allow native trees to reach their age potential of 300 to 800 years. Thanks to Alison, this land will one day harbor many of these forest monarchs.”
Alison and her husband Fikry Andrawes had always hoped that the land would be conserved and potentially become part of the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve of Housatonic State Forest, and asked Northeast Wilderness Trust to help them achieve this goal. “We were delighted to work with Northeast Wilderness Trust on such an important initiative,” said Alison. “I love the idea that the land is now protected forever.”
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