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Conserving Braintree Mountain Forest

Braintree_Mountain_Forest.jpg
New England Forestry Foundation
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A couple who have been conserving forest land in Braintree and Rochester recently turned over an entire community forest to the New England Forestry Foundation.

The Braintree Mountain Forest is 1,547 acres owned by a foundation established by Braintree residents Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives. New England Forestry Foundation Director Robert Perschel said the Braintree Mountain Forest is the largest land gift his organization has received in all of its 70 years.

"We are extremely honored to be the recipient of the Todhah Hill Foundation's generous gift to New England Forestry Foundation," said Perschel. "Todhah Hill's founders, Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives, are community visionaries who understand the important benefits of conserving land for present and future generations. This is a significant milestone for our organization and takes us one step closer in our Heart of New England initiative to conserve 30 million acres by 2060."

Kendall and Rives began purchasing various parcels that would become the Braintree Mountain Forest in the 1970s. Their goal was to protect the headwaters of the Riford Brook watershed, as well as maintain the traditional mix of forest product and public recreational uses.

The forest has been managed by consulting forester John McClain, of Randolph, to maintain its health, habitats, and diverse woodland types. The property is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) for the highest ecological standards. The New England Forestry Foundation has pledged to continue to manage the forest in the same manner and ensure the ridgelines remain undisturbed by any form of visible development for at least 50 years.

The land is open to the public for recreational uses. The forest contains an internal road system and many trails, including a designated VAST trail.

A dedication event will be held this Saturday, September 28 at 2 p.m. Remarks, a ribbon cutting, and guided walk in the woods will be included. Speakers from New England Forestry Foundation include Timothy Ingraham, President; Robert Perschel, Executive Director; and Whitney Beals, Director of Land Protection. Other speakers include John McClain, and donors Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives.