State, private trust, preserve western Mass. lands

HADLEY (AP) -- The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has purchased 243 acres of forest and wetlands in eleven parcels in Granby and Hadley to add to the Mount Holyoke Range State Park.

In addition, the Amherst-based Kestrel Trust has purchased two parcels in Granby and Belchertown totaling 93 acres. A conservation restriction on the land will be held by state Department of Fish and Game.

The acquisitions add to the 10,000 acres already conserved on the Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom ranges.

Benjamin Wright, land conservation specialist for Kestrel Land Trust, tells The Republican newspaper (http://bit.ly/1mQYUUM ) that the acquisitions are "a big deal."

Kestrel is working to line up the remaining 677 acres for conservation within the next six months.