Latest news from the Massachusetts Forest Alliance

Want to Learn to Identify Birds?

Each spring for 40 years, bird enthusiasts have gathered at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York to take Spring Field Ornithology from world-renowned bird experts. This year, for the first time, Cornell Lab is offering the course online.

Focused on species native to the Northeastern U.S., course lectures are packed with bird identification tips designed to expand your birding skills. They also highlight key behaviors including migration, nesting, and song to make your birdwatching more rewarding.  (more…)

New Wildlife Refuge Proposed for Massachusetts and 5 Other States

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed to establish a new wildlife refuge in Massachusetts and five bordering states that would be dedicated to managing shrubland habitat for declining species.

The Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, if approved, would acquire lands in Plymouth and Mashpee in Massachusetts, as well as 8 other areas in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York, totaling 15,000 acres in all.  The proposed acquisition areas of shrublands and young forest habitats provide food and shelter for New England cottontails, American woodcock, ruffed grouse, monarch butterlies, blue-winged and prairie warblers, box turtles, and scores of other species. (more…)

Wood Producers Council’s Winter Meeting in Northampton February 18th

The Massachusetts Wood Producers Council will hold its winter meeting and dinner at the Bluebonnet Restaurant in Northampton on Thursday, February 18th.

The meeting program will include segments on the use of farm plates, an update on current management of state forests, an update on the Northern long-eared bat and how its status will affect woods operations this summer, the new State Wood Energy Team program, the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership, as well as a discussion about what training loggers and others would like to have the Forest Alliance hold in the coming year. (more…)

Want More Information about the 2015-2020 Tree Farm Standards?

The American Tree Farm System has just released a new 34-page publication, 2015-2020 Standards for Sustainability: What’s in it for Family Forest Owners?, aimed at new Tree Farmers that discusses each of the 8 Tree Farm standards and how they apply to family woodlands.

We will be posting a pdf version of this new guide on the Forest Alliance website for Tree Farmers and foresters to download.  Look for it in the Tree Farm section under Becoming a Tree Farmer.

Keystone Project Now Accepting Applications

UMass Extension’s Keystone Project is now accepting applications from local conservation leaders to attend the 2016 Keystone Project Training in April. (more…)