Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
The property had been subdivided into four house lots and put on the real estate market in July 2011. To protect the land from development, the Kestrel Land Trust stepped in at that time to purchase the land until the Conte Refuge could acquire the property. The purchase was made possible with funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and a loan from our Land Trust Loan Program (now our Land Conservation Loan Program).
The refuge division is in the heart of a mosaic of farmlands and grasslands extending north from the base of the Mt. Holyoke Range to the Fort River in the towns of Hadley and Amherst. This newly acquired land at the Fort River Division will help protect the longest free-flowing tributary to the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. The Fort River and surroundings provide habitat for the federally endangered dwarf wedge mussel and rare bird species.