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In April of 2012 the DCR Stewardship Council approved the Landscape Designations for DCR Parks & Forests: Selection Criteria and Management Guidelines for forest management activities and planning efforts on DCR land where the Bureau of Forestry has management responsibilities.
FRMPs are designed to guide the management of State Forests, Parks and Reservations and their associated natural resources. Under the FRMPs, forest management is conducted as part of an integrated approach to establish long-term sustainable levels for all resources and uses. Landscapes and ecosystems are dynamic systems; accordingly, FRMPs are designed to be adaptable to new conditions and information.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of State Parks and Recreation is responsible for the stewardship and management of approximately 314,000 acres of state forests, parks and reservations. Various Commonwealth laws, the state Constitution and sound forestry practices require that DCR manage state forests for a range of purposes and goals.
The purpose of each FRMP is to provide direction for the management of all resources by defining standards and guidelines for their management, address the forest resource management issues identified by the public particularly those included in the 2010 Forest Futures Visioning Process and the Landscape Designation. The intent of the FRMP is to inform the public on how the forest resources in the District will be managed and what will be the predicted results of management decisions; provide forest management direction to ultimately favor greater diversity of size and age classes; direct the management of forests that will provide key ecosystem services such as: water, habitat, recreation, wood products and carbon sequestration; establish guidelines that will protect and enhance rare species; provide a balanced approach to recreation and active forestry; help supply local wood products to local forest economies; and provide the basis for demonstrating “excellent forestry”.
Each plan is designed to provide a 100 year strategy that is condensed to an initial 10 year implementation schedule. The plans identify lands designated as Reserves, Parklands and Woodlands, describe their current condition and provide guidelines for their management and continued monitoring. Given the guidelines for management, the FRMPs predict the short and long term affects on forest structure and the expected resource outputs. Each plan is written to meet and exceed Massachusetts Forestry Best Management Practices and fulfill the standards for future third party forest certification.
Each FRMP was written using the most current information and data available. They are based on consideration of landscape and local ecology, the ability to change and adapt to new biological and social conditions, using ecologically sound forest management practices, documentation of present conditions, predicted conditions, goals and objectives, clear implementation directives, and coordination with recreational planning for a balanced resource protection strategy.
The approved (2008) and existing Forest Resource Management Plans (FRMP) in the Northern, Central and Southern Berkshires and Western CT Valley Management Forestry Districts will be edited to align with and reflect the Management Guidelines. Future FRMPs for the Eastern CT Valley, Mid State, Northeast, and Southeast Districts will be also written using Management Guidelines as direction.
July 30, 2015 Update: The Western Connecticut Valley (WCV) FRMP has been updated and listed below. The WCV plan has been edited deliberately to maintain the structure of the existing 2008 FRMP while providing improvements to the text. The update of the plan was approved by the DCR Stewardship Council July 30, 2015.