First Hudson to Housatonic Meeting Held at Highstead

The first Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Initiative workshop was held at Highstead in early December. The workshop, titled “Conservation in a Changing Climate,” featured a mix of presentations and activities to help participants see conservation through a climate change lens.

Maria Janowiak, scientist for climate change adaptation and carbon management at the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, and Chris Swanston, Director of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, led the workshop.

Click here for more information about H2H and here for presentation videos from the workshop.

Highstead Seeks Two Field Ecology Interns for Summer 2015

Interns in Highstead’s summer 2015 ecology program will gain extensive experience with forest vegetation sampling techniques and woody and herbaceous plant identification. Successful applicants must have a keen interest in forest and wetland flora, be enthusiastic about fieldwork in difficult conditions, and be extremely detail-oriented. The major project will be to resample ~75-100 permanent forest vegetation plots on Highstead’s 100+ acre preserve.

Please click here for more information, application instructions, and deadlines.

Highstead Helps Secure $10M from USDA to Protect LI Sound Watershed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $10 million in funding for a proposal aimed at protecting the Long Island Sound watershed and its important natural resources. The funding was announced as part of the USDA’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which will support 115 conservation projects across the country with more than $370 million in federal funds. “Highstead is thrilled to be involved in the design and implementation of this fund,” said Highstead Conservation Director Emily Bateson. “This money will help more woodland owners protect their land from development and conserve invaluable water supplies and wildlife habitat." Learn more about the RCPP here.

Bill Labich to Deliver Keynote at MA Conservation Forum

Bill Labich, Highstead Regional Conservationist, will deliver a keynote presentation on collaborative conservation at the second annual Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Conservation Forum Feb. 6.

Labich’s talk will highlight steps necessary for establishing effective partnerships that could drive enduring conservation throughout the southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Ecoregion.

For more information about the forum, visit the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance website here.

$1M Grant Program Announced at RCP Network Gathering

Approximately 150 conservation professionals from across New England and eastern New York met in New Hampshire Nov. 13 to share strategies on how to advance collaborative conservation throughout the region.

Sponsored by Highstead, the annual Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network Gathering brought together leaders from the academic, state and federal agency, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors. A highlight of the conference was the announcement of a $1 million grant program from the Jessie B. Cox Trust that will help grow the RCP Network and increase land protection throughout New England.

New Stewardship Science Manual Completed

The Wildlands and Woodlands Stewardship Science: Manual For Long-Term Forest Monitoring was released last month and aims to help groups and individuals who own conserved land monitor their forests.

While most existing forest monitoring programs are designed to be used by trained forestry and ecology professionals, Stewardship Science -- authored by Highstead ecologist, Ed Faison and collaborators from the Harvard Forest, Brandeis University, and the University of Maine -- can be used by landowners, land trusts, conservation commissions, and academic institutions. Long-term monitoring helps participants gain a better understanding of their land and make more informed land-use and management decisions.

Read the full manual here. Find more information about Stewardship Science here and more infomation about Wildlands and Woodlands here.