What We Are
The MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership is a voluntary association of land trusts, conservation organizations, municipal, state and federal agencies, and foresters serving a region of 38 towns spanning the border of South-Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut.
What We Do
Member groups identify key areas of the region for conservation, collaborate on land protection efforts, promote sustainable forestry practices, and organize public outreach and education efforts in order to increase the pace and efficacy of conservation in the MassConn area.
Why a Regional Conservation Partnership?
MassConn is one of over 30 Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) in the Northeast U.S. RCPs are “generally informal networks of people representing private and public organizations and agencies that work together to implement a shared, long-term conservation vision across town and sometimes state boundaries.” Learn more about the RCPs here.
MassConn, along with a host of other regional conservation partnerships, was inspired by Harvard Forest’s 2005 “Wildlands and Woodlands Report,” which outlined a new vision for conservation in New England. See the full report here.
Political boundaries are irrelevant to plant and animal communities, and to ecosystem processes. Ecologists increasingly understand the importance of landscape connectivity — contiguous and connected forested areas that allow species to migrate, interbreed, and shift their ranges in response to changes in the environment — to the health and sustainability of our ecosystems, and ultimately our planet. It is increasingly important that conservation groups work together to conserve land in a way that is meaningful on a larger, regional scale, and to tap into resources that are not available to organizations working alone.
Who We Are
Public Member Groups:
Massachusetts: UMass Extension Forest Conservation Program, Monson Conservation Commission, MassWildlife (MA Dept. of Fish and Game).
Connecticut: UConn Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Center, Stafford Conservation Commission
Private Member Groups:
Massachusetts: Opacum Land Trust, East Quabbin Land Trust, Common Ground Land Trust, Minnechaug Land Trust, Harvard Forest, The Trustees of Reservations, Mass Audubon, Gerrish Forestland Products
Connecticut: Highstead, CT Forest & Park Association, CT Land Conservation Council, Northern CT Land Trust, New Roxbury Land Trust, Joshua’s Tract Conservation & Historic Trust, Scantic River Watershed Association, Hull Forest Products
Regional: The Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, LandVest, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, New Englange Natural Resource Center, True North
MassConn is guided by an active steering committee. Members include:
Dan Donahue (Director of Land Protection & Stewardship, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and Foundation); Leslie Duthie (staff horticulturist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, chair, Monson, MA Conservation Commission, Vice President, Opacum Land Trust); James Gage (Treasurer, Northern Connecticut Land Trust); Cynthia Henshaw (Executive Director, East Quabbin Land Trust); Bill Labich (Regional Conservationist, Highstead); Lindsay Michel (Land Conservation Director, Connecticut Forest & Park Association); Jennifer Ohop (Staff Naturalist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and President, Opacum Land Trust); Amy Blaymore Paterson (Executive Director, Connecticut Land Conservation Council)
Any questions can be directed towards MassConn Coordinator, Katherine Blake