The protection of the Steel Addition was also made possible by landowner Virgina Steel, who generously sold her family’s land at less than its full appraised value. The project also received support from the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership, and generous individual donors.
Thanks to the thoughtful caretaking of this land by Virginia and her late mother, Margaret Gunn (pictured above), the forest has a good start on its way to becoming old-growth. “My mom loved the land…she loved the ability to walk anywhere she wanted, ” said Virginia. “After she couldn’t drive any longer, I would bring her up to visit it often.”
Red oak and American beech provide acorns and beechnuts to hungry wildlife in the fall. Sign of moose, deer, and coyote have been seen there, and it is likely that bobcat and bear frequent the land. Rocky outcrops and boulders provide denning habitat to porcupine.
“I’ve always been interested in conservation of any type,” Virginia added. “I’ve been very happy [that] this could be the outcome for the land.”
To learn more about the conservation lands in the Wapack corridor, visit www.newildernesstrust.org/binney and www.wapack.org.