Todd Waldron and Nate Kennedy highlight the great work happening in the Northeast Region
Chapter Engagement & Events:
We’re engaging chapters and members across the Northeast, and it’s inspiring to see that folks have had a productive hunting season, happy holidays, and are back in action for another year of conservation greatness!
Chapters are setting dates and planning events — we’ve got Birds & Brews, game dinners, and banquets in the works (keeping COVID safety in mind!). In addition, some chapters are getting creative in the new year. Stay tuned for virtual “Grouse-Togethers”, woods-walks and habitat days, BBQs, and wacky spins on the classic sporting clays shoot. Fun times ahead!
Furthermore, keep an eye out for exciting partnerships with our friends at Orvis, forestry adventures with the incredible students from Paul Smith’s College, online conservation conversations, and updates from all of us here at RGS & AWS!
Massachusetts Dynamic Forest Restoration Initiative Update:
RGS & AWS applied for a US Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration Grant in Massachusetts back in November with our partners Mass Wildlife, Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation, National Wild Turkey Federation and Mount Grace Land Trust.
If awarded, the Massachusetts Dynamic Forest Restoration Initiative will coordinate, prioritize, and enable dynamic forest management across public and private land ownerships throughout central and western Massachusetts. The goal of the project is to coordinate and promote habitat management work across public, private and conservation easement ownerships as well as producing new monitoring and mapping capacity to analyze forest age and diversity at a landscape scale.
This funding would allow us to create and enhance 1,600 acres of diverse forest habitat and to treat an additional 400 acres of invasive species. Grant awardees are expected to be announced in late February or early March.
NY Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area – Voluntary Stewardship Agreement
RGS & AWS are in the process of finalizing a multi-year voluntary stewardship agreement on the 4,500 acre Partridge Run WMA in Albany County, NY. This partnership with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) is part of a larger effort to launch a program for landscape-level habitat projects that can include coordinated habitat work on wildlife management areas, nearby state forests and surrounding private lands.
RGS & AWS’ Mid-Hudson and Capital Region – Mohawk chapters will be providing chapter-raised funding to support habitat projects on the WMA, which in turn will be used to develop a larger landscape level project through industry partnerships and additional funding sources.
RGS & AWS supports New Hampshire’s H.B. 1005 in favor of creating a NH low-grade forest products market commission
Viable forest products markets are critical to the long term availability of working forests, and working forests are key to maintaining balanced forest conditions across landscapes for grouse, woodcock and dozens of other at-risk forest wildlife species.
Earlier this year, N.H. Representative Douglas Thomas (Rockingham) and several colleagues proposed a bill that, if enacted, will support the creation of a New Hampshire low-grade timber and wood emerging market commission. According to proposed H.B. 1005’s bill language, “Forest product markets in New Hampshire and the surrounding region have experienced an acute downturn, particularly for low-grade wood resources such as biomass and pulpwood for paper manufacturing. Since 2014, roughly 6.5 million tons of market for low-grade wood has been lost annually through plant closures. Over 2 million tons of this loss has occurred since 2019.”
Forest products markets are key to achieving New Hampshire’s Forest Action Plan and State Wildlife Action Plan goals. RGS supports H.B. 1005 and recently provided written comments to the NH House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development in support of this measure. Additional information on H.B. 1005 can be found HERE.