It's a Bird's Life: Keystone Cooperator Kevin Weir

Keystone Cooperator, Kevin Weir, owns 326 acres of land with his wife on the corner of Amherst, Pelham, and Petersham. Like many of their fellow landowners, Kevin and his wife, Cynthia received the land after much discussion with the relatives who owned it previously. Learn more about deciding the future of your land.

Now, under their care, Kevin and Cynthia hold annual breeding bird species counts on the first weekend in June. Over the six years there has been a consistent count of 65 to 70 different bird species. Due to the fact that they cover the whole 326 acres, they are able to enjoy what they consider highlights such as the wood warblers species, the return of flocks of bluebirds, barn, tree and cliff swallows and bob-o-links. Of particular enjoyment to them is the ability to stand in their fields while swarms of swallow species fly around them. In addition to their spring bird counts, Kevin also hosts a day in the fall where he teaches friends and family to build bluebird houses and utilizes their help to clean out the previous years’ boxes.

With two children and the unavoidable decision about passing on their land, Kevin and Cynthia created a limited liability company (LLC) for the land. As it now stands, each child owns 25 percent of the land, as do Kevin and his wife. This way, each decision made about the land will need to be a conscientious with no one person’s decision over ruling. 

Before the LLC, Kevin and his wife got involved in other programs to enhance their land. In the very beginning of their ownership, Kevin applied for the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) for the first 10 acres of their overgrown fields. Kevin looked to help restore his hay fields through the removal of multi-flora rose, oriental bittersweet, and glossy buckthorn. They also created a 10-year forest management plan in accordance with Chapter 61 in addition to placing their land in an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program.