Wilderness Sanctuary

In 2012, Alison Orr-Andrawes donated 85 acres of land in Falls Village, CT to the Wilderness Trust, protecting an outstanding mix of forest habitats including a mountain stream, rocky outcrops, quiet glades, and majestic oak and hemlock stands.

The Sanctuary 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, who directed this conservation project for Northeast Wilderness Trust, said, “Because old-growth forest was the most common original habitat type of the Northeast, but 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.”

We were delighted to work with Northeast Wilderness Trust on such an important initiative. I love the idea that the land is now protected forever.

Alison Orr-Andrawes

Alison and her husband Fikry Andrawes had always hoped that the land would be conserved to complement the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve of Housatonic State Forest, and worked with Northeast Wilderness Trust to achieve this goal.

Photography by Jon Leibowitz