Bird Habitat Assessments & Management Plans Available to Landowners in 28 Towns

07 Dec

Want to improve habitat for birds and manage your woods for wildlife and people?

The Last Green Valley (TLGV), the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership (MassConn) and the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District (NRICD) are now offering a new opportunity for landowners to obtain forest management plans with bird habitat assessments for woodlands in 28 towns in eastern Hampshire, eastern Hampden and southern Worcester counties.

Landowners who qualify can get a professional forester to work with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, DCR and NRCS to develop a high-quality forest management plan based on a bird habitat assessment of their woods. The plan will contain recommendations for management measures that align with your goals for the property, and can be used to qualify for property tax savings under Chapter 61.

A grant will pay for most of the forester’s costs and to completely fund the bird habitat assessments. Participating landowners will be responsible for choosing a forester to work with and for paying part of the cost of the management plan.

This program is aimed at landowners who have never had a forest management plan and own more than 10 acres of woodlands.  Woodland owners in the following towns are eligible to participate:

Hampshire County:  Belchertown, Granby, Ware

Hampden County:  Brimfield, Hampden, Holland, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Wilbraham, Wales

Worcester County:  Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Leicester,  New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Oxford, Spencer, Southbridge, Sturbridge, Sutton, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield

Program requirements vary by state.  Massachusetts landowners should contact Kate Hauske at the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership at 413 687-9381 or email her at katehauske@outlook.com for help in submitting the correct paperwork.

Applications are available now will be accepted on a rolling basis. It is best to begin the process early to ensure your application is complete. The first round of applications will be reviewed on January 18th, 2019.

For information about bird habitat assessments, see www.mass.gov/guides/foresters-for-the-birds-assessing-your-woods-for-bird-habitat