Thanks to many generous supporters, 2016 has been an exciting and productive year for forest conservation and sustainable forestry in New England. To celebrate and look ahead to another successful year working for New England’s forests, we wanted to share a comprehensive update of our current work.
NEFF has been working on a suite of innovative initiatives, including:
Large-Scale Conservation Projects – NEFF is working on critical land conservation projects in Maine and Connecticut that have the potential to conserve thousands of acres of land. The scale of these projects is larger than anything NEFF has worked on since our successful Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership and will significantly increase the amount of land in NEFF’s Community Forests, marking a new era in our land protection efforts. We also have major projects underway in New Hampshire and the Berkshires.
Build It With Wood – Tall wood buildings are making the news around the world. Recent articles have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, the Economist, and Smithsonian about how other countries are building apartment houses and office buildings up to 19 stories high from wood instead of concrete and steel – saving money, creating jobs, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. NEFF’s Build It With Wood initiative brings together foresters, landowners, architects, engineers, economists, and investors to advance wood construction in New England.
Pooled Timber Income Fund – NEFF is launching the nation’s first Pooled Timber Income Fund (PTIF), which will enable landowners to conserve their land while receiving lifetime income and tax benefits. Participation in the PTIF will guarantee that a donor’s woodlands are managed to NEFF’s exemplary forestry standards and protected as one of NEFF’s Community Forests.
Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Sustainable Forestry – As a result of NEFF’s influential 2014 report Path to Sustainability, the importance of sustainable forestry will receive greater emphasis in the soon to be released update of Wildlands and Woodlands. Developed by Harvard Forest and Highstead, Wildlands and Woodlands is a science-based conservation vision for the entire New England landscape, which has led to significant policy changes and has been influential at the federal level and in other parts of the country.
We could not have achieved any of this without your generous support.
For over 70 years, NEFF has demonstrated that conserved, well-managed working forests can provide landowners and communities with the prime ingredients for healthy living: clean air and water, sustainable production of an array of forest products, peaceful places for hiking and relaxation, diversity of wildlife and habitats, periodic income, and renewable natural resources that help support rural economies.
NEFF is well-positioned for another successful year promoting forestry and conserving forestland. Our plans for the coming year include:
Partnering with Pöyry Management Consulting and Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, LLC to study the market for wood construction materials in New England. This will include vetting potential locations for the East Coast’s first engineered wood production facility and identifying policy changes required to pave the way for architects to employ engineered wood construction in our cities and towns. Expansion of green building construction has the potential to revitalize local, particularly rural, economies – providing new jobs and reducing reliance on international imports – while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.
Employing the tools created through our MassConn outreach project to engage more landowners about forestry and woodland health in the midst of a changing climate.
Bringing the first landowners into the Pooled Timber Income Fund.
Ramping up our current efforts to conserve major parcels of land in Maine, Connecticut, the Berkshires, and other areas of New England.
With your support, we will sustain our mission to serve and unite diverse stakeholders to support the long-term health of New England’s forests. Together, we will guarantee that New England’s forests continue to provide environmental, recreational, and economic benefits for all New Englanders.
New circumstances and perspectives bring fresh opportunities to grow, innovate, and create new partnerships. Please join us again this year as we sustain the momentum of 2016 into 2017 and beyond – for ourselves, our communities, and future generations.