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Current Conservation Initiatives

 

 

 

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) including Permanent funding for LWCF Passed  in the Senate! The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the most important source of funding for conservation land acquisition in the nation. This Federal program, funded with the proceeds from offshore leases, has provided billions of dollars for  wild and recreational lands around the country, including many millions of dollars in Massachusetts. However until now it's funding is always in jeopardy, but now is our chance to secure permanent funding. 

Please write a quick email message to help protect threatened hiking, paddling, and climbing areas.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) played a key role in preserving hundreds of thousands of acres of the land we love. We now have a chance to secure permanent funding for the LWCF so it will be available to help purchase and other important conservation lands. The US Senate passed  and the House will soon be considering the Great American Outdoors Act which will secure permanent funding for the LWCF and fund a huge backlog of projects to improve recreation in our national parks, forests, and monuments. We need you to make your voices heard to help this bill pass! (Learn more at https://www.outdoors.org/conservation-action-network/lwcf-permanent-funding)

It is easy to help. All it takes is a quick email message. Trust us, these messages are read, noticed, and have impact.

 

“My name is [your name], and I live in [city, state]. I am member of the Appalachian Mountain Club. Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is essential for conserving land, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities in the Northeast. I urge you to request Speaker Pelosi to bring permanent Great American Outdoors Act​ to a vote. Please do all you can to see that this vote takes place, helping to secure more of our natural, cultural, and recreational resources for now and for generations to come.”

If you live in in Congressional District 1:

If you live in Congressional District 2:

 

You are done! Thank you for helping support the LWCF!

Questions? Contact Robert Cherdack, Berkshire Chapter Conservation Chair, via email at conservation@amcberkshire.org

 

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Old Growth Forest Protection

Now is our chance to save the remaining old growth Forests in Massachusetts. A bill to protect old growth forest on state lands [ https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S485 ] is on the move in our state legislature. If you believe we should protect our last remaining old growth forests on state lands please contact your state senator and urge her/him to call for a favorable finding on bill S.485 by the Senate Ways and Means Committee and passage by the senate. This would be especially helpful if your senator is on the Ways and Means Committee [ see https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/S30].

 

More Information

This bill provides much-needed permanent protection for the last stands of ancient trees found on state lands.

Old-growth forests are extremely rare, and serve as "living laboratories" where students, scientists, and the public can learn more about forest development, tree genetics and climate change. Although 3 million of Massachusetts' 5 million acres are forested, only 1,500 acres of this land is original old-growth forest.

These ancient groves are scattered throughout the state in small patches, with most on the steep mountainsides of Western Massachusetts managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The value of these rapidly disappearing old-growth forests to people and wildlife is immeasurable; in forests that have not been disturbed for hundreds of years, canopy layers and fallen trees create rich and diverse habitats for many species of birds, insects and reptiles. These areas also act as carbon sinks– helping to sequester global warming gases.

Currently, old-growth forests in Massachusetts are not lawfully protected from timber cutting, only by policy that could change at any time.

This bill would:

  • Protect old-growth forests from logging and development by establishing a system of permanent old-growth forest reserves on state lands.
  • Require an inventory of the forests on state-owned land to determine the extent and condition of old-growth forest stands and their surrounding landscapes.
  • Include an assessment and selection of future old-growth forest areas that exhibit characteristics which, if left undisturbed, would meet the definition of an old-growth forest.
  • Prohibit new development, new or expanded recreational facilities, and commercial timber cutting in old-growth forest.
  • Establish a research and education program to monitor the status and promote understanding of old-growth forest reserves.

MA Old Growth Forest Bill Fact Sheet 

For another urgent matter see https://www.outdoors.org/conservation-action-network/rollback-climate-regulations 

 

For comments, questions, offers to help, contact: conservation@amcberkshire.org

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