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Massachusetts Initiative on Financing Forest Conservation

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
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Led by Jim Levitt, the Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation, and with assistance from David Foster, the Harvard Forest is currently coordinating the work of the newly established Massachusetts Initiative on Financing Forest Conservation (FFC). Jim and FFC staff have recently convened an Advisory Board composed of leading conservationists from the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors in the state to review and provide feedback on a spectrum of promising methods for financing the conservation of Massachusetts forests. Such methods include aggregation for forest conservation, mitigation for forest conservation, innovative limited development strategies, and the leveraging of forest-based economies for sustainable development.

The review and feedback from the Advisory Board and other groups, as well as inspiration from the vision for Massachusetts forest articulated by the Wildlands and Woodlands initiatives at the Harvard Forest, will help to inform two FFC deliverables due in 2010. The first is a report sponsored by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust on emerging FFC methods that can serve not only to protect the Commonwealth's woodlands and wildlands, but also to enhance water resources in Massachusetts. The second is a report that will be produced in conjuction with a Special Commission on Financing Forest Conservation called for in state legislation (Senate Bill 2874) passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Deval Patrick in January 2009. 

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