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Advancing Community Leadership in Forest Conservation

April 24, 2013
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Keystone Cooperators 2013

Twenty-five forest landowners and community leaders recently braved icy April weather to attend a three-day workshop at the Harvard Forest as part of the 24th annual Keystone Project. The Keystone Project training, led by Paul Catanzaro from UMass Extension and Dave Kittredge from the UMass Department of Environmental Conservation, covers topics including forest ecology and management, wildlife management, land protection, and community outreach.

In exchange for the workshop and take-home resources, graduates of the program, called Keystone Cooperators, agree to return to their communities and volunteer at least 30 hours of their time towards projects that promote forest and wildlife conservation.

To date, the Keystone Project has trained over 450 community leaders and landowners, who collectively are involved in the management of nearly 90,000 acres of land. This type of local-level outreach is important because more than three-fourths of all woodland in Massachusetts is owned by private families and individuals. 

The Keystone Project is organized by the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation and UMass Extension, with funding support from Mass. DCR, the Harvard Forest, and the Mass. Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

For more information on forest conservation or Keystone, visit the Keystone website, or contact Paul Catanzaro, Extension Assistant Professor; University of Massachusetts; 413 545-4839;        

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