In negotiating the sale of the parcel, the GCT was mindful of the history and recreational value of the Mason Back 100 and Bruner properties. The Trust spent a year discussing the various options for managing the properties, the value of conservation collaboration with state and federal agencies and the wishes of the original land owners. The Mason Back 100 was bought in a bargain sale from Jean and the late Ed Mason in 2002. The Bruner parcel was a gift to the Trust in 2008 from the late John Bruner and his wife Barbara. Trustees Bob Pine and David Black created a division of the property that allowed the DFG to acquire the sensitive habitat in the northern section and the GCT to retain the southern parcel to preserve the history, the recreation trails, and the old stone walls as GCT protected property.
“While we knew the ecological significance of the property, we also knew that properly managing this special area was a major challenge. When the DFG approached us, the plan seemed like the best option for the long term to preserve and manage this valuable area,” Pine said.
Although the GCT owned the property, members still wanted the input of the original property owners, so conversations developed with Jean Mason and with the family of Dr. Bruner. Both parties were happy to be consulted about the management plan and consented to the sale of the property to DFG.
“I commend the GCT for accomplishing this complicated transaction,” Mason said. “My family is happy that the special features that attracted Ed and me to acquire small parcels, now the Mason Back 100, will continue to be held by the GCT. Trails, stone walls, cellar holes of the Blood farm, and a new future for the turtles, all can be seen and enjoyed in the reconfigured Mason Back 100.”
Revenue from the sale will enhance the management efforts on all of Groton Conservation Trust properties. The trust is a private, non-profit land trust in Groton, Massachusetts that is celebrating its 50th anniversaryFor more information, visit www.gctrust.org.