This year’s annual conference on collaborative conservation in the New England and New York region will be held Thursday, November 13th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, NH. The 2014 RCP Network Gathering will bring together over 100 conservation professionals from across the region to connect, inform, and advance regional conservation partnerships (RCPs).
The 2010 Wildlands and Woodlands report brought attention to the fact that New England had begun to lose forested land on a net annual basis, threatening the clean air and water, and natural habitats that sustain us all. A new inter-state collaboration is working to reverse that trend by engaging landowners identified as pivotal in the battle to protect imperiled streams, drinking water reservoirs, and plant and wildlife habitat.
From our magnificent stretches of forests to our fertile, rolling farmlands, the story of New England is inseparable from the story of the land. For centuries, New Englanders have been deeply reliant on the natural landscape to sustain us. Although recent economic and development trends threaten to change this vital bond, two compelling new reports argue that we could produce 50 percent our own food and double our own wood production, boosting local economies and conserving the many climate, water, wildlife, recreation, and cultural benefits these lands provide.
In a September 2014 article in Smithsonian Magazine titled “Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?” author Tony Hiss highlights the success of New England conservation, including the Wildlands and Woodlands vision and associated Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network.
The Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation is holding a major conference on large landscape conservation October 23 – 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The two-day event will focus on knowledge-building and knowledge-sharing to address the challenges and opportunities of the future of large landscape conservation.
In a testimony given in May to a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, 87 conservation, forestry, and recreation organizations urged lawmakers to invest in the health of New England’s forests. The organizations and businesses, joining together in the informal collaborative, the New England Forest Policy Group, requested full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million and called for robust funding for a number programs particularly vital for the long-term health of our region’s natural resources and human communities.
The importance of working across state and town lines to identify land conservation opportunities was highlighted by Bob Eckenrode, president of Newtown Forest Association, in a presentation on the Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership (FCRCP) at the Connecticut Land Conservation Conference March 15.