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Wildlands and Woodlands: Continuing the Vision

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
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Some eight months after the report's release four major and complementary efforts have arisen to support this conservation vision, sustain its dissemination and promote its initial implementation. These include:

  1. A self-organized consortium of regional conservation organizations, state agency representatives, and foundations meeting at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and Doyle Center for Conservation (TTOR) is seeking to promote the vision through: communication and marketing, financing and funding, and policy and legislation.
  2. The New England Natural Resources Center (NENRC) is assisting with the important "proof-of concept" stage of W+W by providing a non-profit base for the development of pilot Woodland Councils. This activity involves extensive interaction with local and regional conservation groups by Keith Ross, a recognized leader in innovative approaches to land protection.
  3. James Levitt , Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at Harvard University , and Kathy Lambert received funding to host a Spring 2006 roundtable of national leaders in the area of conservation finance to identify potential mechanisms for funding an ambitious regional land protection effort like W+W.
  4. Numerous regional efforts are developing that promise to extend W+W activity across and beyond the confines of Massachusetts. Two efforts are particularly promising. (i) The Quabbin to Cardigan public/private partnership, coordinated by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) , seeks to protect a broad corridor of conservation lands, stretching more than 100 miles from the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts to New Hampshire's Mt. Cardigan, and beyond to the White Mountains. The region contains large tracts of protected forests, including the Harvard Forest, and limited wildland areas and the Harvard Forest Pisgah tract, one of the most intensively studied virgin forests in North America. Harvard Forest is a charter partner in the Quabbin to Cardigan (Q2C) Conservation Collaborative. (ii) Highstead , a 125-acre reserve in southwestern Connecticut dedicated to woodland conservation and education has committed to a new activities that are grounded in many of the ideas underlying the W+W vision. Specifically, Highstead is developing innovative programs to train and support conservation students and experts, disseminate information to landowners and the public, and assist the education and coordination of individuals and groups committed to woodland conservation. These efforts will focus at local (Southwestern CT), regional (southern New England and adjacent New York), and national scales.

Visit the Wildlands and Woodlands Website for more information 

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