Harvard Forest’s Wildlands and Woodlands report proposes that by 2060 at least 70 percent of the region—30 million acres—should be conserved as forestland, and New England Forestry Foundation is well positioned to help meet this conservation goal. Our landowner outreach program is among the key initiatives to realize this vision.
Forest Landowner Outreach and Education
NEFF’s program is focused on developing and testing a replicable model for engaging, educating, and supporting family forest landowners to embrace the values of better forest management and large-scale land protection.
With guidance from an expert panel of communication specialists and in partnership with local conservation practitioners, NEFF has implemented a prototype for landowner outreach in the “MassConn Woods” area, one of 33 current Regional Conservation Partnerships in New England.
In 2017, NEFF and partner organizations American Forest Foundation and the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership celebrated the completion of a two-year initiative funded by a Wildlife Conservation Society grant. This innovative outreach effort connected MassConn landowners with trained foresters who advised them about how to keep their woods healthy and resilient in a changing climate.
NEFF has now received a three-year USDA Forest Service grant to build on this success. NEFF and partners will continue to offer grant-funded forester visits in 2019 to private owners of 30 or more acres in the MassConn Woods and Last Green Valley regions of central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut — while expanding to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
Already, about 80 owners of more than 5,000 acres have received climate-informed forester consultations, and 18 owners—with a total 1,982 acres between them—received forest management plans or support for management practices. Dozens also toured sustainable timber harvests to learn about wildlife-friendly practices with climate in mind.
To learn more about climate-informed forestry or forester visits for qualifying properties, contact Lisa Hayden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MassConn Woods Landowner Outreach Report
With support from the Overhills Foundation and numerous partners, NEFF produced a detailed report—From Engagement to Action: Supporting Woodland Owners in Decisions About Their Land—of its participation in the MassConn Woods Landowner Outreach Initiative, and in an Executive Summary, shares lessons and recommendations for scaling up investment in proactive outreach and communications to the private owners of New England’s woodlands in order to protect the future of our region’s forests. Download the full “From Engagement to Action” report | Download the Executive Summary