Thursday, February 04, 2010

Help stop the Massachusetts Chainsaw Massacre!

Public forum on logging the Quabbin & MA public lands to be held
Tuesday, February 9, 2010, TWO SESSIONS: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
 & 7 - 8:30pm.
Amherst Regional Middle School Cafeteria, Chestnut St., Amherst

Please come and help defend our woodlands from clear-cutting & bad forestry practices!

AND please spread the word!


The MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) formed the Forest
Futures Visioning Process (FFVP) to make recommendations on the future

management of Massachusetts' state forests because many of you found
logging practices on state land unacceptable. The process comprised
two groups: the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), a group of
“experts”; and the Advisory Group of Stakeholders (AGS), a group
representing public interests. The TSC has prepared a draft of its
recommendations for public review.

For the past 10 months, Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network
representatives on the AGS have repeatedly presented the TSC with the concerns that led to the formation of the FFVP in the first place. While the TSC's
recommendations answer some of our concerns, many remain. The Friends
Network wants you to know where we think more work is needed if we are
truly to develop a new vision for the management of our forests.

1. No more clear-cuts on state lands.
The TSC supports clear-cuts up to 5 acres (5 football fields).

Clear-cutting is the most destructive form of forestry and has no
place on public lands.

See Massachusetts Forest Watch for information on clear-cuts.

2. No to "early successional habitat" as an excuse for clear-cutting.

The TSC proposes clear-cutting 30,000 acres to “create early
successional habitat”, but we think this is used as an excuse for
clear-cutting timberland. Clear-cutting to create wildlife habitat
only has the desired effect for 3-5 years, after which time saplings
take over and wildlife moves on. Heidi Ricci, Mass Audubon’s Senior
Policy Analyst and a member of the AGS said, “On early successional,
its not just whether DCR should do such management at all but how and
where. Many people question whether rather random holes in the forest
are the right way to do this, vs. targeted management of overground
fields, expansion of existing open areas, etc.” We prefer a
compromise, whereby wildlife habitat is managed on a small subset of
lands—4,500 acres on a continual 15 year rotation (300 acres/year cut
every 15 years). Let’s maintain meadows and ensure forest rotation
that really benefits wildlife.

Find out what other AGS members had to say about early successional
management and other topics at the AGS Google Group.


3. Strengthen language that protects parklands from commercial timber
Creating a new land zoning system (parklands, working woodlands, and
reserves) is a good idea. Parklands zoning will be managed primarily
for recreation, much like the urban park system, with cutting only for
hazard trees, to maintain views, etc. Because they are unique, please
join us in asking that Bradley Palmer, Boxford State Forest,
Cleaveland Farms, Georgetown Rowley, Harold Parker and Willowdale
become designated parklands.

To find out if your forest is targeted for logging go to Friends
Network "Forestry Concerns Page". Scroll down to "Which

forests are to be used for timber? Is your favorite on the

4. Set aside 7% of Massachusetts lands in reserves and parklands.

Private lands can supply timber, but they cannot provide recreation,
biodiversity, wildlife corridors, and carbon sequestration like public
lands can. William Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental
Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a TSC member who
wants more land in reserve than the TSC recommendations allow, said,
“Many developing countries are trying to protect 10-25% of their
forests (Surinam and Guyana are over 80%), while we are at the 1-2%
level for reserves in Massachusetts. The TSC proposed increase brings
us up to 3-4% of statewide lands.” Audubon and Sierra Club are also
advocating for more protected lands than the TSC. The AGS wants 80%
parklands and reserves and 20% working woodlands; only ~ 7% of MA
protected from logging. Is that really too much to ask for?

To see what the TSC has to say, see Forest Futures Technical Steering
Committee GoogleGroup.

5. Demand site-specific resource management plans for each state
forest and park.

Improved planning processes for our forests include ecology,
recreation, wildlife, historic resources and other important land
values. The TSC did not address the fact that the law governing
forestry states, "The commissioner of conservation and recreation
shall submit management plans to the stewardship council for the
council’s adoption with respect to all reservations, parks, and
forests under the management of the department, regardless of whether
such reservations, parks, or forests lie within the urban parks
district or outside the urban parks district. "The plans are to
"provide for the protection and stewardship of natural and cultural
resources." Please join us in insisting that DCR create Resource
Management Plans for each forest and park, starting with the state
forests open to commercial timber harvesting.

6. Say no to creating a Commissioner of Forest Stewardship.

TSC wants to create a new position, the Commissioner Forest
Stewardship, within the bureaucracy of the Office of Energy and
Environment Affairs (EOEEA). Instead, of hiring another
timber-interest bureaucrat, please ask for a forest ecologist or a
conservation biologist to advise existing state agencies on how to
best protect and preserve public forests. Let’s keep Forestry under
DCR management to better balance all values of state land.

7. Don’t allow our public lands to be used to promote timber and
biomass extraction for private industry, subsidized by taxpayers.

The TSC recommends using our forests for “demonstration” logging
projects across 100,000-150,000 acres of state parks and forests to
benefit logging interests. Keep state public lands off limits to
product marketing for private industry and propaganda for biomass

Forests, Parks, Landscapes, Environment, Quality of Life, Communities
and Economy Threatened by Industrial Scale Logging & Biomass Power
Deerfield River, Mohawk Trail Windsor State

8. No thanks to FSC Certification of state forests.

The TSC is promoting the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
certification program, which they say protects our forests. But it
took citizens pointing out gross violations that caused the state to
loose certification. FSC is a distant international organization, is
costly, promotes clear-cutting, and has proven ineffective for

protecting public forests. We recommend stronger regulations and local
oversight to protect forests.

To learn more about problems with FSC see

9. Support real public forums.
The FFVP public forums have been designed to limit democratic
discussion and input. Two of the meetings have been scheduled to start
at 5:00 p.m. How can working people attend?

At the forum, you will be shunted into small groups where a
“facilitator” will write down your comments. We believe everyone who
attends the forums should have the right to make comments directly to
state officials and be heard by everyone else in the room. Please
support the Friends Network at the forums when we stand up and ask for
a true democratic exchange!

The TSC draft recommendations. Please read and decide if this is the
vision you expected.

The FFVP comment period closes February 22. Please submit written
comments via email to: or attend a public forum.

Upcoming public forums will be at the following dates, times, and

Saturday, February 6, 2010, 10 a.m.– Noon (Snow date: Saturday,
February 13)
 North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, North

Saturday, February 6, 2010, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Snow date: Saturday,
February 13)
 Berkshire Community College – Melville Hall Room 201,
1350 West Street, Pittsfield

Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
 & 7 - 8:30pm.
Amherst Regional Middle School Cafeteria, Chestnut St., Amherst

Thursday, February 11, 2010, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Snow date: Thursday,
February 18)
 Taunton Public Library, 12 Pleasant Street, Taunton.

See DCR information on FFVP public meetings here.

Thank you for caring about the future of Massachusetts' forests,

Your friends in the Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network


[This from Mass Forest watch]:

For background regarding commenting on the "Forest Future Vision" recommendations,

please see:

Please be sure to submit written comments regarding protecting public forests,
watersheds and parks by February 22, 2010 by sending an email to:

Written comments are essential to ensure your
comments are included in the record.

For a reminder of why your voice is needed see: and

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of a stump field.
It looks like the norway spruce that was cut because it was a non native species to Massachusetts.
The DNC should have explained their reasoning better.