Forest Protection Speaker Series

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Additional Resources

The Power of Saving Place: Climate-Regulating Ecosystems for Local & Global Wellbeing, with Dr. Susan A. Masino ~ April 29, 2024

As a neuroscientist and a professor of applied science, Dr. Masino will share practical bioregional opportunities that address the urgency and power of saving place, the unmet need and tremendous opportunities to prioritize wild nature, and the primary importance of brain health across all ages.
The 2024 conference titled “Embracing Nature’s Complexity” emphasized the urgent need to prioritize climate stability in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and to take aspirational, interdisciplinary, and international action to prioritize water and climate-regulating ecosystems.
Professor Masino reports take-home messages from the conference and highlights the recent regional report titled “Wildlands in New England: Past, Present, and Future.”

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Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest ~ September 6, 2022

Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw, and biologist Bill Stubblefield, provided background to help members better understand the issues and how to frame comments to the DCR during the ten-year review of its landscape designations, September 2022.  

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Biochar: What it is and what it is not ~ July 13, 2021

Rachel Smolker is co-director of Biofuelwatch. Her work has spanned local grassroots organizing to participation in international processes, including the United Nations conventions on climate and biodiversity. She has researched, written, and organized on the impacts of biofuels, bioenergy and biochar on land use, forests, biodiversity, food, people, and the climate. She has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan and worked previously as a field biologist. She lives in Vermont.

Praise the Dead: The role of dead trees and fire in forest ecosystems ~ July 28, 2020

George Wuerthner is an ecologist and has published 38 books, including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest PolicyProtecting the Wild: Parks and Wilderness Foundation for Conservation and Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of the Earth..  
He discusses his experience in the West and talks about planned forest fires on Massachusetts state lands for habitat restoration and fire suppression. He addresses the Montague Plains, Muddy Brook Wildlife Management Area, and Myles Standish State Forest as examples of restoring pine barrens, the cultural and ecological histories of these areas, and the benefits of letting nature take its course in forest ecosystems.

Forests and Brain Health: Emerging Research ~ June 16, 2020

Susan A. Masino, Ph.D. is the Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College and a recent Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard University. Her research focuses on links among metabolism, brain activity and behavior and she is dedicated to educational, environmental and public policy issues affecting brain health.  
The link between forests and brain health is a public policy imperative: we face increasing costs for disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to addiction, and forests offer exercise, mindfulness and stress reduction. We are still discovering new species, and forests are a former and a likely future source of new medicines. Research on cardiovascular, immune and neurological systems is expanding worldwide. In people of all ages a forest can increase kindness, altruism, and generosity by provoking awe – the sense of wonder you feel in the presence of something beyond your understanding. For these and many other reasons, natural forests should be protected and accessible to citizens across the state.

Bioenergy and Forests. Paying to cut and burn forests: is this really what we want for renewable energy? ~ June 9 2020

Mary S. Booth, Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, directs PFPI’s science and advocacy work on greenhouse gases, air pollution, and forest impacts of biomass energy   Biomass energy is growing rapidly worldwide due to its inclusion in renewable energy programs that make it eligible for financial incentives, including in Massachusetts. However, despite being treated as “green” and carbon neutral, burning forest wood for energy actually emits more climate and air pollution per unit energy than most fossil fuels. And harvesting for biomass creates negative impacts on our forests. 

Alosada Kpiwi – Let’s Walk in the Woods: Finding Our Place Among All of Our Relations ~ May 19, 2020

Rich Holschuh is a resident of Wantastegok (Brattleboro, VT) and an independent historic and cultural researcher. He has served on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and is a public liaison and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Elnu Abenaki, members of the contemporary Indigenous community. Rich is founder and director of the Atowi Project, an Elnu community initiative to affirm Native relationships to the Land and its inhabitants, raise Indigenous voices, and foster inclusion with understanding. His work draws upon indigenous history, linguistics, geography, and culture to share beneficial ways of seeing and being in relationship with place. 

Our Massachusetts Forests To Cut, or Not to Cut?  That is the question ~ May 19, 2020

Michael Kellett is executive director of the New England nonprofit organization, RESTORE: The North Woods, which he co-founded in 1992. He developed the proposal for a 3.2-million-acre Maine Woods National Park, which laid the groundwork for the 2016 designation by President Obama of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. In Massachusetts, he has worked to protect Walden Woods, the Thoreau birthplace, and Mount Wachusett old-growth forests. In 2009, he served as a member of the citizen advisory committee to DCR’s Forest Futures Visioning Process, which led to a modest expansion of protected areas. He helped to develop legislation  to protect Massachusetts’ publicly owned land which was introduced in January 2019.

Bill Stubblefield holds a Doctorate in Biology from Harvard University and has published on the evolutionary biology of sex and the behavioral ecology of solitary wasps. He now devotes his time to saving as much of the living world as possible from the assaults of industrial civilization and extending social justice to all the people of planet Earth.

Reducing Heat Trapping Emissions from Energy Use and Storing More Carbon in Forests to Achieve a Safe Climate ~ May 12, 2020

Dr. William R. MoomawProfessor Emeritus, Center for International Environment & Resource Policy at Tufts University, lead author of five reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,  former director of the Climate & Energy Program at the World Resources Institute.

Arise for Social Justice; Concerned Citizens of Franklin County; Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, Climate Change Committee; The Enviro Show; Extinction Rebellion Western MA; Green Berkshires; Hitchcock Center for the Environment; Keep the Woods; 350MA Berkshire Node; Mother Out Front Pioneer Valley; Partnership for Policy Integrity; Restore: The North Woods; Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, 1st Hampshire District; Representative Paul Mark, 2nd Berkshire District; Senator Jo Comerford, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester District; Springfield Climate Justice Coalition; Traprock Center for Peace & Justice; Wendell State Forest Alliance

Forest Protection Speaker Publications Spring 2020

More about our speakers Selected recent publications of Dr. William R. Moomaw Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good by Professor Moomaw. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 6/11/19. “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.”This news article from Science Daily points to the scholarly article authored …