Residents of Northwestern Connecticut take pride the region's combination of wild open spaces and quintessential New England scenery. But in recent years, the rural Housatonic River valley has been threatened by development. One top protection priority for local conservationists has been forested Skiff Mountain, in the towns of Sharon and Kent. After TPL helped conserve 445 acres there in 2003, a group of landowners came forward wanting to ensure that their properties on the mountain also would remain undeveloped. Between 2003 and 2009, TPL assembled federal funding to purchase conservation easements on more than 700 acres. The state now manages the easements, and the land creates important linkages to more than 7,000 acres of other protected open space, including Macedonia Brook State Park and the Appalachian Trail.