PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Environmental Management has acquired 149.5 acres of forestland in Tiverton for $710,000 to keep it undeveloped, the state announced on Friday.
The land, which abuts a 121-acre parcel of protected land that was acquired from the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club in 2012, will be utilized for public recreational use, including hunting.
The DEM purchased the land from Alice Mandros, using $487,500 in U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program funds and $222,500 from state Open Space Bonds.
“I am delighted that we have been able to permanently protect this large tract of forested land for public recreation use,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “This acquisition provides the public with close to 150 acres of prime open space for recreation in a densely populated area of Tiverton, preserves wildlife habitat, and offers additional protection to … Newport’s water supply.”
The land includes a stream, a wetland complex, which is part of the Tiverton Great Swamp, and several stone walls, the DEM said.
“The Nature Conservancy has made a long-term commitment to the Tiverton Great Swamp, one of the largest forests in eastern Rhode Island,” said Nature Conservancy Sakonnet Landscape Manager John Berg. “We work with landowners to give them options for protecting their property. I’m deeply grateful that the family ultimately saw conservation as their best bet.”
The DEM said that Berg had explored a number of conservation scenarios with the Mandros family, which owned the property, for more than 15 years and helped negotiate the final deal.
Combined with the abutting property, the acquisition will have created 270 acres of contiguously protected land.
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