Response to a Proposed Quabbin National Park – Quabbin is OK
Help is needed to support threatened conservation funding, to support Mount Grace and other land trusts working to save land, and to promote and assist implementing conservation options. Why spend precious time and energy in a divisive effort to re-designate 100,000 acres of already conserved land when 1,000,000 acres of unprotected land remains at risk?
For thirty years Mount Grace has been conserving land and encouraging land stewardship in 23 towns in the greater North Quabbin Region. As of 2016, we’ve helped conserve 31,600 acres, most effectively through landscape-scale, multi-landowner projects funded, in part, by state and federal conservation agencies. Mount Grace owns and manages approximately 1,500 acres of land, about one-quarter of which has a forever wild designation.
Massachusetts is comprised of five million acres. One million acres have been prioritized for future conservation* by at least three different assessments: Biomap2, Wildlands & Woodlands, and the Statewide Land Conservation Plan released by Governor Romney in 2006. These are places and natural resources we need to save to ensure that future generations also have clean water, local food, wildlife habitat, climate resiliency, and more.
Good forestry and bad forestry take place. Many forums exist for learning about the differences and for insisting that public and private forestlands be managed in an ecologically sound manner. masswoods.net is an excellent and long-standing resource at the University of Massachusetts.
Local wood is as important as local food. The people of Massachusetts now generate less than 5% of the wood and paper products we use. Forcing forestry to less well-regulated places is harmful to the planet.
*Of Massachusetts’ five million acres, one has been developed and one conserved. Just under half of the remaining acres have been prioritized for conservation, ranging from 1.5 million acres to 1.2 million acres in the three named reports.
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