Harvard Forest Wildlands and Woodlands Report Release and Discussion

The Harvard Forest, Highstead Foundation, and authors from around New England will release, on September 19,  2017 a new report entitled: Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities: Broadening the Vision for New England. The report, which follows up on Wildlands and Woodlands reports released in 2005 and 2010, articulates a broad view of conservation that fully embraces farmlands and the built environment, recognizing the region's diverse conservation needs and challenges.

Speakers will reflect on changes in the landscape over the last decade, the broadened Wildlands and Woodlands vision and our progress toward its goals, and the myriad collaborative, community-based efforts to conserve our forests and farmlands for the benefit of all.  Speakers include:

Rand Wentworth, Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, and President Emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance; acclaimed author Terry Tempest Williams; Director of the Harvard Forest, David Foster; and conservation panelists from across New England, including Jane Difley, President of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Jocelyn Forbush, Chief of Operations and Programs for The Trustees of Reservations, and Matt Polstein, Founder of the New England Outdoor Center.

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 has recently dropped by 50% from the peaks in 2008 and in 2014, falling 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 concludes with hopeful signs such as the long-standing public support for land protection, the growth of community based regional conservation partnerships and the Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE) network, 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, as well as a video about the reportand supporting materials can be viewed or downloaded free at http://wildlandsandwoodlands.org/vision/ww-vision-reports after September 19.

There are a limited number of tickets still available to the celebration of the release of the new report.

How to Reserve a Free Seat: Contact Hannah Robbins at hannah_robbins@harvard.edu.