Cole Conservation Easement Protected Forever in Cornish

February 2, 2023
A view from above the Cole conservation easement in Cornish.

The Forest Society has further extended the protected lands around Yatsevitch Forest in Cornish by working with generous landowners Wally and Jerri Cole, who recently donated a conservation easement on 203 acres. (Photo: Ryan Smith)

A Tradition of Generosity and Conservation at the Yatsevitch Forest Continues – Thank you for helping to protect 203 Acres in Cornish!

In 1995, Mike Yatsevitch had a vision for conserving his family lands in Plainfield and Cornish. The Michael M. and Claudia Yatsevitch Forest was first established with an 800-acre donation of land to the Forest Society. If only he could see the Yatsevitch Forest today! Through a series of land and conservation easement donations and purchases, and thanks to collaborations between the towns, land trusts and private landowners, more than 1,100 acres of contiguous forestland has been conserved surrounding that original 800 acres, creating a block of 1,969 acres.

Now, the Forest Society has further extended the protected lands in Cornish by working with generous landowners Wally and Jerri Cole, who donated a conservation easement over 203 acres between Dodge Hollow Road and Paget Road, directly abutting the southern boundary of the Yatsevitch Forest.


A map of the conservation easement.
Click to enlarge map.

This land extends down the southern slope of Fernald Hill and consists of mixed northern hardwood forest of sugar maple, oak, beech and birch. Large interconnected blocks of forested habitat are important to the movement and migration of wildlife, including wide-ranging species like black bear and moose – and the woodlands, fields and winding dirt roads of Cornish are fundamental to the character of this beautiful Connecticut River community that has inspired so many writers and artists.

The conservation easement prevents future subdivision of the 203 acres and will not allow further development, but does allow recreational use and sustainable forestry, and protects water resources and other natural attributes on the property. The Coles’ existing house and outbuildings are not included in the easement area.

Thanks to the support of individual donors and the Cornish Conservation Commission, the costs related to conserving the Cole property and providing for its long-term stewardship, were supported through a successful fundraising campaign. 

We are very grateful to the generous individuals who made donations to help conserve these 203 acres and extend forest protection around the Yatsevitch Forest to 2,172 acres!  Thank you and congratulations!

For more information, please contact Anne Truslow, Vice President for Development, at or (603) 224-9945 x319.  Thank you!