Service Forestry

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Service Forestry Program provides technical assistance to private landowners and municipalities in forest resource planning, forest management, and forest protection within districts across the state. 

With 235,000 non-industrial private landowners in Massachusetts and approximately 78% of the Commonwealth's forest land in private ownership, private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry Program meets the needs of these landowners through: 

The Service Forestry Program is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots, and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations. For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town. 


To: All interested landowners – want to learn how to lower your property taxes while maintaining your land for wood products, agriculture, recreation or wildlife?

You are invited to attend a Chapter 61 Workshop hosted by the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership in association with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Opacum Land Trust, and MassLIFT-AmeriCorps to learn about the “Current Use” Forest Tax Program, which provides a framework to assess and tax land based on its current use rather than its development value. This workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the state tax incentive program from the two DCR Service Foresters working in the MassConn region while also learning about other conservation options from a local land trust professional.

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Tuesday , January 26th, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Palmer Public Library Community Room

1445 North Main Street, Palmer, Massachusetts 01069



Welcome and overview of agenda

Sarah Brodeur: Palmer Conservation Commissioner, MassLIFT-AmeriCorps member and MassConn Regional Conservation Coordinator

Meet your local land trust

An overview of conservation options for your land

Ed Hood, Executive Director of Opacum Land Trust and Coordinator for the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership

Meet your local DCR Service Foresters

An introduction to Massachusetts’ “Current Use” landowner forest tax incentive program:

Doug Hutcheson, Service Forester for Eastern Hampshire and Hampden Counties

Kate Marquis, Service Forester for Eastern Hampden and Central Worcester Counties

  • Ch. 61: intended for landowners engaged in long-term, active forest management
    • For parcels greater than 10 acres
  • Ch. 61A: intended for active agricultural or horticultural lands
    • For parcels greater than 5 acres
  • Ch. 61B: intended for landowners interested in maintaining land for recreation or open space
    • For parcels greater than 5 acres