FINAL REPORT: LOWER WORCESTER PLATEAU ECOREGION ASSESSMENT
Table of Contents
Table of Contents, a List of Acronyms, and the Introduction section
Main Body file size 2MB
Summaries of existing conditions in the ecoregion related to Conservation of Biological Diversity; Forest Conditions, Health and Productivity; Soil and Water Conservation; Regional and Global Considerations; and Socio-Economic Factors
Identifies the main management issues in the ecoregion as well as goals and recommendations to address those issues
This section includes a Glossary, Literature Cited, and the five Appendices
Issues, Goals, and Recommendations
The assessment, along with input from the public and the combined experiences of the land management professionals working in the EEA agencies, was used to identify eighteen (18) main ecological or management issues and needs. Some of these are specific to the Lower Worcester Plateau ecoregion; others are statewide issues, or may apply to multiple ecoregions. The management goals and recommendations were identified that will help guide future management activities and planning on state-owned properties in the ecoregion.
The goals, outlined in general categories, are as follows:
- Conservation of Biological Diversity
- Enhance and expand the occurrence of contiguous blocks of early and late successional habitats within the Ecoregion.
- Establish a network of forest reserves in the LWP Ecoregion that provides a wide range of ecological and social benefits.
- Focus protection efforts on protecting the largest, most intact and threatened forest blocks in the ecoregion.
- Protect rare habitats on state lands, and target state, municipal, and other land conservation resources on protecting uncommon or rare species habitats on private lands.
- Forest Conditions, Health, and Productivity
- Maintain and enhance the oak forest across the ecoregion, especially the early and late seral oak habitats.
- Minimize high-grading within the Commonwealth by encouraging the application of sustainable forest management and conservation biology principles to meet landowner objectives.
- Restore degraded forests (e.g., formerly extensively high-graded stands, plantations, etc.) to a more natural and native condition.
- Prevent new occurrences of non-native, invasive plant species and identify and control existing invasive threats to rare plant populations.
- Minimize the impact of hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) on the forest within the ecoregion.
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Enhance the protection of the ecoregion's water supplies via improved land conservation and forest management.
- Reduce damage resulting from ORV/ATV activity within the ecoregion.Utilize existing state and federal renewable energy programs to fund a significant biomass application within the ecoregion.
- Socio-Economic Factors
- Increase the amount of land enrolled in programs like Chapter 61 and the Forest Stewardship Program that provide significant incentives for private landowners to keep their land in forest cover.
- Provide more equitable compensation to rural municipalities for the costs of having state-owned lands within their communities.
- Strengthen the regional forest product economy by creating a more consistent and predictable flow of forest products to local forest industries.
- Improve public understanding and appreciation for the multiple ecosystem values of undeveloped forests in this ecoregion so that better economic incentives to keep forests undeveloped can eventually be developed.
- Assure the long-term protection of cultural resources in the LWP ecoregion.Expand public input and awareness of the ecoregional planning process across the state.
For more information contact:
Robert O'Connor, Director of Land and Forests
Executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street - Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Policy.
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Policy, Land and Forest