Dear friends of Massachusetts forests,
Two important forest protection bills, H.912 and H.1002, have been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. We were greatly encouraged by the broad public support for the bill, H.897 —the precursor of our current bills — in the 2019-20 legislative session. With your help, we will build enough support during this 2021-22 session to pass these bills into law.
The next step is a committee hearing on the bills, but we expect to receive only short notice of the date and time. We will inform you as soon as we know the schedule.
Meanwhile, we ask you to add your name to a letter that will be sent to the Chairs of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA), as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate President, and Governor Baker. You can sign on here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/support-for-massachusetts-house-bills-912-and-1002/
We also urge you to e-mail your own written comments to the Committee Chairs and/or call them, and then copy or call any or all of the rest of the Committee members.
You don’t need to be an expert to comment. For more information, review the attached fact sheet for each or visit our web page at https://www.savemassforests.com/.
Also, please ask your own legislators to support these bills if you have not already. https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
If you can, please forward a copy to us of your comments to legislators. It will benefit the campaign to know what message they are hearing from the public.
The two forest protection bills are:
H 912 – An Act Relative to Forest Protection, sponsored by Representative Michael Finn, 6th Hampden District
This bill would designate all 412,000 acres of park, forest, and watershed lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as parks or reserves. It would expand the existing system of parks and reserves where natural processes are allowed to proceed with minimal human management, similar to the stewardship of our National Parks.
The text of the bill can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H912
H 1002 – An Act Relative to Increased Protection of Wildlife Management Areas, sponsored by Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, 1st Hampshire District
This bill would expand and make permanent the existing system of reserves on public Wildlife Management Areas administered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. It would direct the designation by 2030 of at least 30%, or about 51,000 acres, of the agency’s lands, consistent with the latest biological and climate science, and would give these areas permanent protection.
The text of this bill can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H1002
Here is contact information for the ENRA Committee, which includes members in both the Massachusetts Senate and House.
Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov (617) 722-1555 Chair
James.Eldridge@masenate.gov (617) 722-1120 Vice Chair
Jo.Comerford@masenate.gov (617) 722-1532
Michael.Moore@masenate.gov (617) 722-1485
Mike.Rush@masenate.gov (617) 722-1348
Ryan.Fattman@masenate.gov (617) 722-1420
Carolyn.Dykema@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2680 Chair
firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 722-2400 Vice Chair
email@example.com (617) 722-2810
firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 722-2060
email@example.com (617) 722-2210
firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 722-2210
Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2304
email@example.com (617) 722-2460
Jessica.Giannino@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2800 x7316
firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 722-2090
email@example.com (617) 722-2130
Thank you for being a part of this important campaign. With your help, we will succeed in preserving our public forests — not only for the citizens of Massachusetts, but also for the wide diversity of plants and animals who cannot speak for themselves.
Janet Sinclair, Concerned Citizens of Franklin County
Michael Kellett, RESTORE: The North Woods
A project of:
RESTORE: The North Woods
P.O. Box 1099
Concord, MA 01742