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Protect MA forests in DCR comment period

The comment period for the 10-year review of Mass. state land designations ends September 28, 2022.

Click here to access a sign-on letter with this simple message, “We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves.” If there are specific DCR lands that you know and love, you can add comments to this online letter.

And view the video Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest (9/6/22) with Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw, and biologist Bill Stubblefield.

For more information, visit Save Massachusetts Forests and read on…

To write your own letter, comments may be submitted online at www.mass.gov/dcr/public-comment. The public can say directly to DCR the same things that were said during the hearing for the forest protection bills– H912 and H1002: all DCR land, including the watersheds, should become either “parks” or “reserves,” where land management is similar to our National Parks.

The current DCR plan, written in 2012,  is here: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/qq/management-guidelines.pdf

The full sign-on message: “We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves. These Reserves would protect intact ecosystems, which are influenced primarily by natural processes, with only minimal human interference. Limited management activities would be allowed if proven to be necessary to protect public safety, endangered species, or the environment.”

In the video, Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands, Michael Kellett, Bill Moomaw and Bill Stubblefield provided background to help the public better understand the issues and how to frame comments to the DCR during this ten-year review of its landscape designations.

Carbon & Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest

Landscape designations re-imagined to capture carbon and preserve biodiversity

Register HERE for this online event to learn the issues and how to frame comments to the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation during the comment period that ends September 28, 2022.

This backgrounder comes from experts in their fields:

  • Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods,
  • Climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw,
  • Biologist Bill Stubblefield.

There will be time for Q & A after the presentations.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpf-iprzsiHtdF_gXhWKNvJjklvQupZOMb . If you register, you will get a recording sent to you when it is available. 

DCR’s listening sessions allow the public to weigh in on the first 10-year review of the Landscape Designations and Management Guidelines developed in 2012.

The current DCR plan  is here: (https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/qq/management-guidelines.pdf ).
The public can now say the same things that were said to the legislature during the hearings for the forest protection bills  (H.912 and H.1002). Now the comments can go directly to DCR.  And we are saying the same things that we said when working on the bills: all DCR land, including the watersheds, become either “parks” or “reserves” where land management is similar to our National Parks. These measures would protect intact ecosystems from logging and most other active management — a level of protection that now exists for only 1% of the state’s land base..

To take action: Click HERE to sign a petition asking the DCR to create more permanent, protected reserves.

Here is the text of the petition:

 We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves.

These Reserves would protect intact ecosystems, which are influenced primarily by natural processes, with only minimal human interference. Limited management activities would be allowed if proven to be necessary to protect public safety, endangered species, or the environment.

cover image: DCR report Landscape Designations for DCR Parks & Forests:
Selection Criteria and Management Guidelines

Eversource proposes massive tree cutting along transmission power lines!

Eversource wants to cut all trees within 100 feet of transmission power  lines running from the Northfield Substation, through the towns of Erving, Wendell, Montague, Leverett, Shutesbury, Pelham, Belchertown, Amherst and Granby, to the Ludlow Substation in Ludlow, crossing two Environmental Justice communities: Wendell and Amherst.

Eversource has filed with MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office) in order to move forward with its plan to cut over 370 acres of trees along the transmission power line corridor.

Take action by sending a comment to MEPA!  Go HERE for an action guide which will give you all the info you need. Please share with family and friends. 

The original MEPA comment deadline was set for Monday August 22nd. We have heard that an extension to that deadline is being negotiated. Watch for updates!

Check out this video of a meeting with Eversource called by Senator Jo Comerford

Tell DCR to protect state lands

DCR Landscape Designations and Management Guidelines 10-Year Review

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is holding a series of public meetings from late August to mid-September to discuss their review of the 2012 DCR Landscape Designations and Management Guidelines. These meetings offer the public a chance to provide feedback on the review, comment on evolving climate concerns, and discuss designations for properties acquired since 2012.

There will be 5 opportunities for the public to participate in live meetings, presenting the same material in each, and a field walk.

  • In-person sessions:
    • Thursday, September 8th 6:30pm-8:30pm MassWildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581
    • Tuesday, September 13th 6:30pm-8:30pm Pittsfield Athenaeum, One Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201

DCR encourages the public to share additional feedback, with a deadline for receipt of comments by September 28th, 2022. Comments may be submitted online at www.mass.gov/dcr/public-comment. Please note that the content of comments you submit to DCR, along with your name, town, and zip code, will be posted on DCR’s website. Additional contact information required when commenting, notably email address, will only be used for outreach on future updates on the subject project or property.