Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.

Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Read 2017 W&W Report

New Paper Highlights the Benefits of Intact Forests

A new paper, led by William Moomaw of Tufts University and co-authored by Susan Masino (Trinity College) and Highstead Senior ecologist Ed Faison makes the case for setting aside greater amounts of wildland reserves to allow existing forests to continue to grow (termed Proforestation).

Published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change in June, the paper argues that proforestation is an often overlooked solution to removing elevated atmospheric CO2 levels and storing vast amounts of carbon. At the same time, proforestation provides underrepresented habitat structures for a host of forest organisms and offers remarkable places of solitude, scenic beauty, and inspiration for people.      Read paper here.

Highstead Welcomes New Ecology Intern

Bryce Demers has joined Highstead for 11 weeks as the 2019 ecology intern.

Bryce is a botany major from Northern Michigan University and a graduate of SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger school. He will be assisting Highstead staff with two field projects: (1) long-term changes to forest growth and composition resulting from moose and deer browsing and (2) examining the structural and compositional attributes of wildlands vs. managed woodland forests in Connecticut.

New Report Sheds Light on Foundation Funding for Conservation

The Highstead conservation finance program released several new resources for our conservation partners: Nathalie Woolworth, a 2017 intern, and Senior Conservationist Spencer Meyer published a new report describing recent trends in private foundation grant-making for environment and land conservation in the northeast. 2018 intern Kat Culbertson, along with Spencer and communications manager Cheryl Daigle, launched a new series of Conservation Finance Perspectives to showcase many ways in which land conservation benefits our communities and economies, and addresses climate change. These briefs are geared for RCPs and land trusts to communicate the benefits of conservation to municipal, business and legislative leaders.

New Study: Conservation Boosts Local Economies

A new study, led by Kate Sims of Amherst College and co-authored by Highstead Senior Conservationist Spencer Meyer and Harvard Forest colleagues, shows land conservation has a positive impact on employment in local economies. Published in Conservation Biology in March, the first-of-its-kind study looked at 1500 New England towns over 25 years, showing conservation had a net positive impact on economies with a heightened effect in rural communities in the five years following increased land protection.