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:
- Working Forest Initiative [such as free woodland evaluations and information]
- administration of the Forest Cutting Practices Act [regulation of commercial timber harvesting, MGL Ch132]
- the Forest Tax Law Program [favorable tax treatment to forest landowners, MGL Ch61]
- the Forest Stewardship Program [helps landowners achieve their goals for wildlife, aesthetics, wood products, and recreation through forest management planning and support]
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.
Foresters for the Birds Training
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Heath Community Hall, Heath, MA
Foresters for the Birds is a new MA DCR program providing cost-share assistance to landowners to hire a qualified consulting forester to conduct a Bird Habitat Assessment on their land. The assessment will provide information about the existing or potential habitat for 12 target bird species, and Silvicultural recommendations for enhancing the habitat through forest management. Cost share funds will be available in FY15, starting July 2014. To become qualified to provide this service to landowners, consulting foresters must attend this training, and then conduct two assessments under the review of a bird specialist provided by DCR.
Currently, the program is limited to the Northern Hardwood focus area consisting of land in Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe, and Shelburne in Franklin County; Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Williamsburg, and Worthington in Hampshire County; and Adams, Clarksburg, Florida, Hinsdale, North Adams, Peru, Savoy, Williamstown, and Windsor in Berkshire County.
To be eligible, landowners need to be currently enrolled or applying to the Forest Stewardship Program.
The May training will include indoor lectures and nearby site visits to see Silvicultural treatments for specific bird habitats.
Space is limited. To register, please contact Wendy Ferris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.625-9151.
Commonwealth Quality “Forest to Floor” Architect @Workshop
On Wednesday, February 26th the DCR outreach service forester, Sean Mahoney and 3 Commonwealth Quality wood producers hosted an educational workshop to build connections between architects interested in sustainable design and local sources of sustainably harvested wood products. This workshop was part of DCR service forestry’s ongoing effort to raise awareness of the abundance of locally grown forest products that provide long lasting, full time, jobs in rural Massachusetts communities from conservation practices on working woodlands.
Currently despite being 63% forested, less than 2% of the wood consumed Massachusetts is grown, harvested, and manufactured within the state. During the day the 16 participants were able to observe a forest stand regenerating after a disturbance and became more familiar with Massachusetts regulations protecting soil and water quality including the Massachusetts Forestry BMPs. At the mill participants observed zero-waste manufacturing practices of local wood manufacturers, were able to differentiate between four locally abundant tree species in a finished product, and learned how to specify Massachusetts grown lumber for structural applications based on the Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards amendment (780 CMR 23.00).
The Commonwealth Quality program is joint program between the DCR and DAR to promote local wood producers that meet long term procurement guidelines for sourcing Massachusetts grown forest resources.
For more information go to www.thecqp.com/forest.
Reading the Forested Landscape with Tom Wessels
May 8th, 6:00 pm
Greenfield Community College
Free and open to all
For more information or directions: Wendy Ferris at 413-625-9151 or email@example.com
Sponsored by: DCR’s Forest Stewardship Program and the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute
The fascinating history of the forests of western Massachusetts is on display for all to see if you know where to look. If you want to learn how to look a little closer, join Tom Wessels for a talk about how to decipher the evidence etched into our forested landscape to unravel its complex stories on Thursday, May 8th, at Greenfield Community College.
Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, Tom will teach you how to piece together the stories and history of our local forests. This program is based on Tom’s book, “Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England”, which teaches us to read a landscape the way we might solve a mystery.
This special opportunity is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Forest Stewardship Program and the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute, as a way to help people learn more about the land use history of their woods.
Tom Wessels is an ecologist and founding director of the master’s degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. Presently, he is Faculty Emeritus. Tom has conducted landscape ecology and sustainability workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, The Myth of Progress, and Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape.