The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Improvement Program is a new program led by the Franklin Land Trust (FLT), in partnership with the MA Department
of Conservation and Recreation, Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC), and the MA Forest Alliance (MFA).
This program is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Through this program, FLT and BNRC will purchase either temporary or permanent public access easements for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking from willing landowners in a 28 town region in northwestern Massachusetts. (see Map)
Participating landowners will provide public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, or hiking on their land. Landowners can choose between temporary or permanent public access easements, designating full access to the property or to a portion of the property. Full access easements are not required to include hunting.
Temporary or permanent trail easements are available on a limited basis. A trail easement will allow public access within a trail easement area, and will only be considered on existing trails contained within one ownership, or for trails that make important connections to trails on permanently protected lands that are open to the public.
Funding rates will vary depending on how much land is enrolled, the duration of the easement, and if hunting is included.
✓ Must be in the 28 town region
✓ Must verify ownership of property
✓ Must be willing to publicize public access land on the Franklin Land Trust and the MA DCR websites
✓ Must provide public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and hiking on your property.
✓ Trail easements will only be considered for existing trails contained within one ownership, or for trails that make important connections to trails on permanently protected lands that are open to the public.
To see payment rates and to learn more about the VPA program click the links below.