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.
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.
Outsmart Invasive Species
Help us locate invasive species!
We have been working with a diverse group of partners including the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy in an effort to combat non-native invasive plants and insects through increasing public awareness and to determine the full extent of new invaders while there is still hope of eradication.
The major focus of the Outsmart project is a smartphone app for reporting invasive plants and insects. For more information on the app or links to download see http://masswoods.net/outsmart
Submissions made through the app are added to a database called Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMaps) http://www.eddmaps.org/
We could use your help. There are a number of these new invaders in Massachusetts, some of which pose real threats to our forests. The early detection plant species that we are hoping to map the full extent of include:
- Japanese stiltgrass
- Mile-a-minute vine
- Amur corktree
- Giant hogweed
For descriptions of these species and maps showing towns where there have been positive ID’s visit http://masswoods.net/outsmart For those of you who would like to help map invasives but don’t have an smartphone you can take a digital photo and submit it directly through EDDMaps.
If you would like submission to remain private (not show up on the publically available EDDMaps) please indicate that in your notes.