Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New England losing forest cover -- scholars call for accelerated conservation

Date:
May 22, 2010
Source:
Harvard University
Summary:
New England forests are at a turning point. A new study reports that, following almost 200 years of natural reforestation, forest cover is declining in all six New England states. The authors of the report call for conserving 70 percent of New England as forestland, a target that they say is critical to protecting vital natural benefits that would be costly, and in some cases impossible, to replace.

New England forests are at a turning point. A new study released May 19 by the Harvard Forest reports that, following almost 200 years of natural reforestation, forest cover is declining in all six New England states. The authors of the Wildlands and Woodlands report call for conserving 70 percent of New England as forestland, a target that they say is critical to protecting vital natural benefits that would be costly, and in some cases impossible, to replace.

Related Articles


"We've been given a second chance to determine the future of the region's forests. This report calls attention to the pressing need to couple New England's existing conservation capacity and shared land ethic with a vision for the next century in which forests remain an integral part of our livelihoods," said David Foster, lead author of the report and director of the Harvard Forest. Foster points to clean water, climate protection, and renewable wood supply as examples of the forest's many benefits to society.

The report, "Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape," was produced by the Harvard Forest of Harvard University, and authored by 20 scholars in forest science, policy, and finance from across New England. It examines forest trends and promotes strategies for permanently retaining 70 percent of the New England landscape in forest over the next 50 years. The vision would triple the amount of conserved land in New England while still leaving ample room for future development. It calls for conserving most of the landscape (63 percent) as working woodlands owned and managed by private landowners, and protecting a smaller portion (7 percent) as wildland reserves. This regional vision has roots in the 2005 Wildlands and Woodlands vision for Massachusetts, also released by the Harvard Forest, which called to protect one half of Massachusetts (2.5 million acres) in forest. Since the publication of the Massachusetts W&W report in 2005, a growing partnership of more than 60 organizations from public, private, and non-profit sectors has been working to achieve the vision in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England.

The Wildlands and Woodlands report cites development and changing forest ownership patterns as two major drivers of forest loss and instability in the region. It points to the need to support the interests of the many private land owners who have stewarded the majority of the region's forests for decades and seek to keep their forestland intact. Rob Lilieholm, co-author and professor of forest policy at the University of Maine, Orono, points out that a vision for conserving forests at this scale holds many benefits for the people of the region: "I think it's clear that we all stand to gain from the Wildlands and Woodlands vision. Landowners will have more options in how they choose to manage their lands. The region's forest products sector, vital to the economic health of countless rural communities, will benefit from a secure source of timber. And residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy these working landscapes and the wide range of services they provide now and in the future."

The Wildlands and Woodlands report outlines a suite of collaborative, voluntary approaches to accelerate conservation. James Levitt, co-author of the report and director of the Harvard Forest Program on Conservation Innovation, notes, "New England has, for nearly four centuries, been a leader in conservation. With the groundswell of regional interest in Wildlands and Woodlands specifically and in landscape-scale conservation generally, New Englanders are well-positioned to provide leadership in the practice of innovative conservation, this time in the 21st century."

The Wildlands and Woodlands report will be released to the public on May 19, at the Harvard Kennedy School, featuring comments by Theodore Roosevelt IV and by David Foster. 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard University. "New England losing forest cover -- scholars call for accelerated conservation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112611.htm>.
Harvard University. (2010, May 22). New England losing forest cover -- scholars call for accelerated conservation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112611.htm
Harvard University. "New England losing forest cover -- scholars call for accelerated conservation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112611.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Late Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Eastern US

Late Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Eastern US

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) — A strong cold front moving across the eastern U.S. has dumped deep snow in some regions, creating hazardous conditions from Kentucky to New England. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Keurig Co-Founder Says Company Has A Waste Problem

Keurig Co-Founder Says Company Has A Waste Problem

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — Keurig co-founder John Sylvan told The Atlantic he doesn&apos;t even own a Keurig because they&apos;re too expensive and produce too much waste. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Injured Miners Treated After Blast

Raw: Injured Miners Treated After Blast

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing at least one miner, officials said. Graphic video of injured miners being treated in a Donetsk hospital. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins