“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” - Henry David Thoreau
Protecting our forests in this time of climate crisis and biodiversity collapse is recognized as an important way to protect our environment and our future health and well-being. Two bills have been submitted to the Massachusetts Legislature this session. One would permanently protect 412,000 acres under the care and control of the Division of Conservation and Recreation. The other would permanently protect 30% of the land owned by Fish and Wildlife, about 51,000 acres, by 2030. These state agencies already have land in reserves where intact ecosystems are influenced primarily by natural processes. These bills request more reserves than we now have, and give them legal protection that they do not currently have. Together these actions would help Massachusetts to do its part to help mitigate climate change and protect our native natural heritage.
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Save Massachusetts Forests is a project of RESTORE: The North Woods.
1. H.4150 — An Act Relative to forest protection, sponsored by Representative Carmine Gentile
Hearing date was November 29,
2023 - Posted here: Hearing Details - Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
This bill is resubmitted from the last legislative session. It would update century-old public land policies written before we recognized the climate crisis and global loss of biodiversity. This bill would help address these concerns by designating 412,000 acres of forest and watershed lands controlled by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as parks and reserves. We would permanently conserve intact ecosystems thatare influenced primarily by natural processes in our forests and parks — a level of protection that now exists for only 1% of the state’s land base.
Find the bill here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/H4150
More important bills
IT'S TIME TO STOP SUBSIDIES FOR BIOMASS IN MASSACHUSETTS
and protect our forests
See the ACTION - MA Biomass Subsidies page
In the news - Carbon Forestry Committee Report released-
Report of the Climate Forestry Committee: Recommendations for Climate-Oriented Forest Management Guidelines https://www.mass.gov/doc/forest-as-climate-solutions-climate-forestry-committee-report-final/download
“Unsurprisingly, disturbing the forests of Massachusetts as little as possible and allowing forests to grow and age through passive management is generally the best approach for maximizing carbon, ecological integrity, and soil health.” (page 4)
More information about this report is here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/forests-as-climate-solutions
In the news- Massachusetts state land logging moratorium petition delivered to Governor Charlie Baker
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Pre-eminent Biologist E.O. Wilson Supported Our Bills
to Protect State- Owned Land
"I strongly support this bill, which would permanently protect 13 percent of the Massachusetts land area, reaching from the Berkshires to the Atlantic Coast. This is the single most important action the people of thestate can take to preserve our natural heritage. As it has many times in the past, Massachusetts can provide leadership on this issue, inspiring other states across the country to take similar bold action."
With best wishes,
Edward O. Wilson
July 6, 2019
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