How we use land in the watershed has a direct and most important effect on water quality and habitat
MassAcorn (A CoOperative Resource Network) is an interactive website designed specifically for woodland owners and enthusiasts in the Westfield and Deerfield River watersheds. MassACORN features interactive mapping, extensive local information/resources, and an Ask the Expert section, for all your forestry, conservation, and land use questions.
See the Final Draft of the watershed-wide Open Space and Recreation Plan! These are PDF files. Need Adobe Acrobat to read. Download program for free. The final document is available from the Shelburne Falls library.
Also take a look at the Charlemont Recreationand Open Space site.
The Deerfield River watershed Team has funded Open Space plans for several towns in the watershed that didn't have any yet, and also is funding a regional open space plan for the whole watershed. Our November 16, 2002 conference in Buckland, MA was devoted to the topic.
Go to the Massachusetts Land Trust Organization web site to read an interesting paper on how Saving Land Lowers Taxes, by Robert Levite. This site is also a good place to find out about conservation easements, how to start a land trust, conservation gifts, conservation restrictions, government land acquisition assistance programs, and more!
(content borrowed from River Network)
What is sprawl? Sprawl is a dispersed pattern of urban growth that has substantial negative impacts on communities and the environment due to the spread-out location and configuration of new buildings and inter-linking, normally impervious surfaces.
What is Smart Growth? Smart Growth strives to encourage and support patterns and methods of new development that result in high-quality communities and substantial open space preservation. One of the key goals of Smart Growth is revitalizing and redeveloping existing communities. Many older failing towns are ripe for economic revival and Smart Growth promotes redevelopment of older areas over development of open space.
The Farmland Protection Toolbox: A fact sheet from the American Farmland Trust describing the tools and techniques that state and local governments are using to protect farmland and ensure the economic viability of agriculture.
DRWA Annual Meeting
At The 2008 DRWA Annual Meeting, our featured speaker will be Tom Wessels giving a talk base on his book Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England. " It introduces people to approaches used to interpret a forest's history while wandering through it. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested landscape. This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene. Tom says: It is wonderful to know nature through one-on-one encounters with other organisms, but it is perhaps more empowering to gain a fuller understanding of the patterns that have shaped its landscapes. Through some knowledge of history and the broader view of seeing a forest and not just its trees, we begin to see the forces that shape a place. This new way of seeing creates reverence, respect, a sense of inclusion and accountability. Reading the landscape is not just about identifying landscape patterns; more importantly, it is an interactive narrative that involves humans and nature. For those interested in enhancing their sense of place, I know of no better way than by becoming intimately acquainted with their local forests and the fascinating stories they tell.
Much of our watershed is forested. Very little of our forest is old growth. You can see some old growth forest in the Mohawk Trail State Forest in Charlemont:
But most of our woods have been cut at some point or many times. Learn more about the forest in our watershedt and how to manage it wisely at MassWoods.
MassAcorn is an interactive website for landowners and others interested in forests in the Deerfield and Westfield rivers watersheds
Do you have suggestions or would like to contribute content to this page? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This web site made possible in part by the Valley Charitable Trust Fund administered by Fleet National Bank,
and by the Community Foundation for Western Massachusetts
Revised 9/28/08 by MF Walk . DRWA HOME