Our Work

New Harvard Forest Report: Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities

The Harvard Forest, Highstead Foundation, and authors from around New England released a new report called “Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities” on September 19. The report articulates a broad view of conservation that fully embraces forests, farmlands, and the built environment and recognizes the region’s diverse conservation needs and challenges. The report shows that New England lost an average of 24,000 acres of forest and farmland per year between 1990 and 2010. It reports that public funding for conservation dropped by 50% from the peak in 2008 and in 2014 was slightly below 2004 levels. Despite these trends, the report shows that the original Wildlands and Woodlands vision is still achievable and calls for tripling of the current pace of conservation, reversing public funding trends, and putting more land to work for sustainable forestry and farming. The report ends with hopeful signs such as the long-standing public support for land protection, the growing network of community based regional conservation partnerships, the distinct flavor of conservation in New England that explicitly recognizes the value of working lands, and emerging policy and finance opportunities. The new report, a video about the report, and supporting material can be viewed or downloaded free at http://wildlandsandwoodlands.org/vision/ww-vision-reports.