Vision and Programs
The Heart of New England is a carefully designed, comprehensive response to the sweeping conservation vision proposed in the Harvard Forest report, Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Forest. This long-range vision proposes that by 2060 at least 70% of the region—30 million acres—should be conserved as forestland that remains free from development, thereby allowing natural and human communities to flourish.
New England Forestry Foundation is well positioned to play a major role in helping to meet the goal of conserving 30 million acres by 2060 by focusing on three key program areas targeting three central constituencies:
1. Forest Landowner Outreach and Education
This program is focused on developing and testing a replicable model for engaging, educating, and supporting family forest landowners who embrace the values of better forest management and large-scale land protection. With guidance from an expert panel of communication specialists and advice from a group of conservation practitioners, we will develop a prototype for implementation in the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership area, one of the 33 current Regional Conservation Partnerships in New England. We will test, evaluate, and adapt our approach until we have a model ready for implementation in other Regional Conservation Partnerships. Learn more.
2. Land Trust Collaboration Services
New England Forestry Foundation offers a team of advisors who are inspiring, organizing, and supporting the region’s 500+ land trusts as they identify and complete large-scale land conservation projects. As of 2013, at least 33 Regional Conservation Partnerships have emerged to promote collaboration among land trusts and their partners. The team has developed a series of tools and techniques — a Land Trust Collaboration Tool Kit — to assist collaborations in reaching their conservation goals. This Tool Kit contains items such as sample memoranda of understanding to guide and manage collaborative activities, conservation easement templates, and tools for project management and easement stewardship. Integral to the Tool Kit is a fundraising manual with suggested procedures for planning and implementing a successful capital campaign, including sample documents and a directory of potential funding sources. In addition to these items there are links to other online resources. These tools are designed to help collaborations accelerate land conservation, enhance forest stewardship, and protect it more securely.
3. Forestry Innovation and Techniques
This initiative is focused on introducing and testing new forestry tools and training techniques and conducting research on New England Forestry Foundation demonstration forests to answer management questions relating to subjects such as climate change and biomass harvesting. We have imported an innovative field training tool from Europe called a Marteloscope. This tool involves taking an inventory of all trees on a hectare of forest and links those trees with a computerized forest-growth software program. This allows foresters to investigate different approaches to tree selection and stand management to hone their skills and productivity. It will also facilitate comparisons of the benefits of even-aged and uneven-aged management and reveal how to better adopt forest management to changing climate conditions. We are implementing the Marteloscope in Massachusetts and Maine and will add additional sites as resources allow.