Mount Holyoke Range Planning Unit


Resource Management Plan

The Mount Holyoke Range extends from Belchertown westward to the Connecticut River. Across the river, the Mount Tom Range extends southward from the oxbow toward downtown Holyoke. Three of this planning unit’s properties; Mount Holyoke Range State Park, Joseph Allen Skinner State Park, and Mount Tom State Reservation are located on these ranges and extend from valley floor to ridgeline. The fourth property in the planning unit, Holyoke Heritage State Park, is located along a canal that once used the Connecticut’s waters to power cotton and paper mills. All four properties provide recreation opportunities and the opportunity to experience and learn about the region’s natural and cultural histories.

Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are working documents that consider the past, present and future of a property. They draw on available existing information to provide an inventory and assessment of existing conditions and activities, enabling the DCR to establish guidelines for future management. Results of this planning process include guidance for short and long-term management of properties and identification of priorities for capital and operating budgets.

Public input is important to the development of RMPs, and two public meetings were convened as part of the planning process. The first was held on June 14, 2012 to solicit public input on the preparation of the plan. The second was held February 21, 2013 to present the draft plan. Both meetings were followed by 30-day public comment periods. Public input received at the meetings and during the associated comment periods helped shape the Mount Holyoke Range Resource Management Plan, which was adopted by the DCR Stewardship Council on July 25, 2013.

The following Management Principle and associated Management Goals were developed to guide the stewardship and use of properties within the Mount Holyoke Range Planning Unit.

Management Principle:

To conserve the natural and cultural resources of the Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom ranges for future generations through informed management; recreational activities respectful of these resources and the landscape contexts in which they occur; and interpretive programming that connects the public to their natural and cultural heritages.

Management Goals

  • Manage natural resources at the landscape level, with an emphasis on protecting and enhancing state-listed species and their habitats.
  • Preserve distinct scenic and cultural resources.
  • Promote appropriate recreational activities compatible with resource protection and an enjoyable experience for all visitors.
  • Repair, maintain, and enhance park infrastructure in order to improve the visitor experience and park operations, and to reduce future capital costs.
  • Increase awareness of, and appreciation for, natural and cultural resources among DCR staff, park visitors, area residents, and the local academic community.

For further information on ongoing property management and maintenance, implementation of recommendations contained in the RMP, or ways to get involved, please contact:

Dom Sacco, Acting District Manager

Connecticut River Valley District

740 South Street

Pittsfield, MA 01210-1433

413)-422-8928 x 133