Myles Standish 10 Year Pine Barrens Restoration

Department of Conservation and Recreation's Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry along with MassWildlife are restoring native Pine Barrens habitat through forest thinning and the use of prescribed fire. This work provides globally rare habitat and also reduces risk to human health and property in the event of a wildfire.

Table of Contents

Overall Project Scope

Proposed November 1, 2018

This page is dedicated to the silviculture component of the project and contains the information relative to the DCR's public process for this project.

State Forest Myles  Standish
Location Plymouth
Acreage (DCR) 1,171
Forest Type Pitch Pine / Scrub Oak
Silviculture Ecosystem restoration / thinning / type conversion / overstory removal
Date Proposed November 1, 2018
Public Meeting December 5, 2018
Public Meeting Location Carver

Key Actions   for Overall Project Scope

Additional Resources   for Overall Project Scope

First Year Prescriptions

November 2018

Initially planned Year 1 tasks were completed early due to contractor efficiency.  The prescription for units originally planned for the second year were prepared and work began in May 2019.   Units originally called 2-a and 2-c have been renamed to 1-d and 1-e.


Acreage Total (DCR)  1,171
Year 1 Acres (DCR) 340
Year 1 Acres (DFW & Private)  200
Forest Type Pitch Pine/ Scrub Oak
Silviculture Ecosystem restoration / thinning / type conversation / overstory removal
Year 1 Offer November 2018
Year 1 Award January 14, 2019
Active February 2, 2019
Treatment Completed 6/30/2019
Contract Closed 6/1/2020


Additional Resources   for First Year Prescriptions

Second Year Prescription


Acreage Total (DCR)  1,171
Year 2 Acres (DCR) 319
Year 2 Acres (DFW) 17
Forest Type Pitch Pine/ Scrub Oak
Silviculture Ecosystem restoration / thinning / type conversation / overstory removal
Active  February 5, 2020
Treatment Completed 6/11/2020
Contract Closed 6/11/2020

Key Actions   for Second Year Prescription

Additional Resources   for Second Year Prescription

Third Year Prescription

This year the project will be split between two separate operations.  161 acres in the Camp Cachalot Conservation Easement will be mowed/mulched in place.  Large white (10”+ diameter) will be removed in previously mowed/mulched areas across 595 acres (415 acres in Myles Standish State Forest; 19 acres in SE Pine Barrens WMA; and 161 acres in Camp Cachalot Conservation Easement)."  

Acreage Total (DCR)  1,171
Year 3 Acres (DCR) 415
Year 3 Acres (DFW) 180
Forest Type Pitch Pine/ Scrub Oak
Silviculture Ecosystem restoration / thinning / type conversation / overstory removal
Active -
Treatment Completed -
Contract Closed -

Background of Myles Standish State Forest

In 1914, the State Forest Commission was formed to acquire and restore unproductive waste lands to commercial forests, to protect the soil, and regulate water flow. In 1916 the State Forest Commission purchased the 5,700-acre Game Sanctuary Association property, creating Myles Standish State Forest (MSSF). By the end of the 1920s, the state had purchased the majority of the land we now know as MSSF. Today, MSSF has approximately 12,437 acres, and is the largest public recreation area in southeastern Massachusetts.

As a result of colonial wood utilization and wildfires, most of the original forest was cleared and burnt over by the mid-1800s. The Massachusetts Game Sanctuary Association initiated reforestation efforts in 1912 by planting 30,000 white pines around Barrett Pond and East Head Reservoir (Rothman, 1996).

After acquiring the land the state continued the reforestation program over the next 40 years. With the help of state unemployed crews and Civilian Conservation Corps crews in the 1930s, approximately 1.9 million white, red, Austrian, jack and Scots pines, spruce and other species were planted in the forest between 1916 and 1937.

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