The hearing for our forest protection bills was December 7. We had a great turn out; 27 people gave excellent testimony supporting the bills. Many more of you have written in support of the bills. Thank you all! Now the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA) are making a decision about our bills.
You can help by making 2 quick phone calls, even if you have already commented or called about these bills. You can leave a voicemail if no one can take your call. ENRA needs to hear from you!
H 912 – An Act Relative to Forest Protection, sponsored by Representative Michael Finn, 6th Hampden District
This bill would designate all 412,000 acres ( 8% of our land) 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 ( 1% of our land) , of the agency’s lands, consistent with the latest biological and climate science, and would give these areas permanent protection as reserve areas where natural processes are allowed to proceed with minimal human management, similar to the stewardship of our National Parks.
ACTION TO TAKE
Please call the ENRA Chairs .Let them know that you support H.912 and H.1002, and to please report the bills out of the Committee with a favorable recommendation.
Senator Becca Rausch (617) 722-1555 Chair
Representative Carolyn Dykema (617) 722-2680 Chair
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 residents of Massachusetts, but also for the wide diversity of plants and animals who cannot speak for themselves.
Janet Sinclair, Save Massachusetts Forests https://www.savemassforests.com/Michael Kellett, RESTORE: The North Woods http://www.restore.org/Save Massachusetts Forests is a project of RESTORE: The North Woods.