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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.