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Keystone Cooperators Trained at Harvard Forest

May 1, 2011
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On April 14-17, 20 community volunteers participated in a workshop on ecology, conservation, and communication as part of the 2011 Keystone GroupKeystone Program, part of UMass Amherst's natural resource outreach effort. In return for this educational opportunity, volunteers agree to return to their communities and serve as spokespersons or advocates for conservation at the local level. Participants are landowners or are actively involved in local committees or conservation non-profits such as land trusts or watershed associations. They are in a perfect position to reach other landowners with information to help them make informed decisions about management and the future of their property. This year's participants either own or are involved with the conservation of over 42,000 acres. The Keystone Program has been held at Harvard Forest annually since 1988. It supports an active network of over 300 community leaders statewide who are promoting local conservation. Since roughly 70% of all open space in Massachusetts is owned by over 40,000 private families and individuals, informed decision making on their part is an important part of ensuring ecosystem services in the future.

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