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Media Advisory: Press Conference on Dec. 11, 2013

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Contact: Clarisse Hart, Harvard Forest Outreach Manager
Telephone: (978) 756-6157 (9a to 5p)

Harvard Study Shows Sprawl Threatens Water Quality, Climate Protection, and Land Conservation Gains in Massachusetts

Important new findings reveal promise and peril of land-use decisions

A ground-breaking study by Harvard University's Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institution reveals that, if left unchecked, recent land development trends will undermine significant land conservation gains in Massachusetts, jeopardize water quality, and limit the natural landscape's ability to protect against climate change. The results of the study are summarized in the new report, Changes to the Land: Four Scenarios for the Future of the Massachusetts Landscape. The study used sophisticated computer models to conduct a detailed acre-by-acre analysis of four different land-use scenarios for the entire forested landscape of Massachusetts. This is the first time a study of this magnitude has been conducted for an entire state.

WHAT: News conference to release Changes to the Land: Four Scenarios for the Future of the Massachusetts Landscape

WHEN: December 11, 2013
            10:30 am start time

WHERE: Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
            79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Malkin Penthouse, on the 4th floor of the Littauer Building
            Garage parking across the street. Directions/map to the building.

WHO: David Foster, Director, Harvard Forest
Jonathan Thompson, Senior Ecologist, Harvard Forest
Kathy Fallon Lambert, Science & Policy Project Director, Harvard Forest
Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Environment

NOTE: an additional conference call with the study authors for reporters unable to attend the news conference will be held at 12:00 NOON (eastern time) following the press conference.
Call-in number: 1-866-890-3820 Passcode: 85875498#

To RSVP for the press conference and to receive the embargoed press release and executive summary of the report with a summary of policy implications, contact: Clarisse Hart at 978-756-6157;

Photos and B-roll are available at the Changes to the Land press website.


The Harvard Forest, founded in 1907 and located in Petersham, Mass., is Harvard University's outdoor laboratory and classroom for ecology and conservation, and a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site funded by the National Science Foundation. Its 3,700 acre property is one of the oldest and most intensively studied research forests in the U.S. Open to the public year-round, the site includes educational and research facilities, a museum, and recreational trails. More information can be found at /.

For additional information, or for an interview with the study authors, please contact Clarisse Hart at 978/756-6157 (9a-5p) or email