Who is NeVar and NeVara?

Nevar© and his mate NeVara© are a not so common raven pair. Together, they have become the mascots and narrators for this website.

Ravens were chosen for their intelligence, sociability and adaptability. They have been companions to humankind for all of recorded history and are a rich part of our folklore. To some ravens are evil. To others they are revered as noble spirits. And so ravens were chosen to tell the story of Mount Tom and why the ridge that makes up the spine of Holyoke should be preserved largely as undeveloped open space.

Should you have skills in animation, graphic arts, audio and video recording, photography, voice-overs, research, law, and would like to help tell the story of the Mt. Tom Range, please leave a comment under Recent Posts.

Wildlife Management

041wildlifemanagementEast Mountain is the southerly extension of the basalt ridges that make up part of the Mt. Tom Range in Holyoke. The section of ridge that is called East Mountain extends from Route 141 in Holyoke and Easthampton south through West Springfield and Westfield to the Massachusetts Turnpike. This circumneutral ridge of basalt continues south well into Connecticut.

Four properties in Holyoke and one in Southampton make up DFW’s East Mountain and Southampton Wildlife Management Areas. North of Route 141, DFW owns a small parcel on the eastern slope of Mt. Tom itself (not shown on the map). A significant portion of East Mountain is owned by the Holyoke and West Springfield Water Departments, and other properties on East Mountain are protected by the City of Easthampton, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, and the Holyoke Conservation Commission.  Together with the Mt. Tom State Reservation and lands protected by the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge and The Trustees of Reservation on the Mt. Tom ridge, much of the exceptional habitat on Mt. Tom and East Mountain is protected from destruction through development.

More than twenty state-protected rare plants and animals have been documented from East Mountain, including Marbled Salamander (Threatened), Wood Turtle (Special Concern), Swamp Lousewort (Endangered), and Green Rock-cress (Threatened).

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail runs along the ridge-lines of East Mountain and Mt. Tom, including through DFW land. Hiking this trail will give you spectacular views west towards the Berkshire foothills and, more importantly, a sense of the exceptional richness of natural communities and unusual bedrock making up these basalt ridges.

Text and map courtesy of the official website of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs website.

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