Working Forest Initiative

The Working Forest Initiative streamlines programs and services offered to woodland owners who want to experience the full benefits of their private forests

Your woods provide many benefits to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and a local wood supply. Navigating the many programs associated with forest management and land conservation can seem like an overwhelming process. The Working Forest Initiative offers a variety of services and programs to help you make informed decisions about the stewardship of your woodland.

Table of Contents

Forest Stewardship Program

Forest Stewardship Program
Forest Stewardship Program

Learn more about what’s on your land and how to achieve your management goals through the Forest Stewardship Program.  Perhaps you want to enhance wildlife habitat, create or improve recreational trails or conduct a timber harvesting on your private property. If you have more than 10 acres of woodland, The Forest Stewardship Program may provide funding assistance to help you create a Forest Stewardship Plan to help you achieve those goals.

The Forest Stewardship Program is managed for DCR by the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute.

Key Actions   for Forest Stewardship Program

Foresters for the Birds: Assessing Your Woods for Bird Habitat

Foresters for the Birds Program
Foresters for the Birds Program

The DCR Bird Habitat Assessment Program, in partnership with MassAudubon, provides funding assistance to landowners to work with a consulting forester or other qualified professional to evaluate existing and potential habitat for a selection of birds.

Massachusetts is an especially important New England state to breeding birds because it is a part of both the Northern Forest Region the Eastern Deciduous Forest Region.  For some of these species, as much as 90% of their population is breeding here.  Many of these birds are showing a decline in their populations.  For those birds that depend on forest habitat knowing how to modify forest structure to meet habitat needs is critical for species in decline.


Key Actions   for Foresters for the Birds: Assessing Your Woods for Bird Habitat

Additional Resources   for Foresters for the Birds: Assessing Your Woods for Bird Habitat

Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Land Stewardship
Estate Planning for Land Stewardship

Deciding what will happen to your land after your lifetime is a critical step in stewarding your land. Your land is likely one of your most valuable assets, especially if you have owned it for a long time and it has increased in value. However, land often carries family connections, memories, and emotions that can make planning for it more complicated than other assets. Estate planning can help meet both your financial needs and personal goals for the future of the land. Free copies of Your Land, Your Legacy, an informational publication with in-depth information about estate taxes, ownership structures, and land conservation, as well as 12 case studies of landowners across Massachusetts are available online or through the mail. Several free informational workshops are held across the state throughout the year.

Managed for DCR by University of Massachusetts Extension

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