My MassConn Woods: Empowering landowners to manage their woodlands
Most of New England’s woods and forests are family woodlands, owned by over 200,000 private individuals, not the federal government or big corporations. Because of this, the collective decisions of these landowners will determine the future of New England’s forested landscape.
Many own small parcels and retain their property for relatively short periods of time. With each ownership transfer, the temptation to split apart land and sell for development purposes increases, as the development value of woodland frequently exceeds the value for potential forestry uses. And of course, the consequences of development usually reduce or altogether eliminate those crucial forest benefits we all enjoy.
Additionally, the forests in this region lack the diversity of both species and forest structure to adapt appropriately to a changing climate. As a result, the forests of this region are threatened. In fact, we are already starting to see the impacts of climate change in this area with rising temperatures and changes in precipitation events.
To address this trend, the American Forest Foundation has partnered with the New England Forestry Foundation and the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership to provide individual forest landowners with the tools they need to make informed decisions about increasing the resiliency of their woods to prepare for changing conditions. This unique partnership focuses on connecting landowners in the area with the tools and resources they need to better steward their woods.
This campaign reaches, engages and builds relationships among family forest owners who will determine the future of this region, from the “New England charm,” of our small towns and village greens, to the wildlife and plants that depend on the health of the region’s remaining forested landscapes.