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Manomet report studies impact of massive turnover of timberland in New England's Northern Forest

special emphasis on implications for biodiversity conservation. In addition to Hagan, the study was researched and written by Lloyd C. Irland, a noted forest economist of the Irland Group in Wayne, Maine and Andrew A. Whitman, a forest ecologist with Manomet. The 34-page report can be downloaded at www.manomet.org

The scientists, who focused on owners of larger tracts of land over 5,000 acres, used a variety of data sources, as well as personal interviews conducted through a biodiversity survey with 36 respondents.

Concluding that there is a lack of data sources on landowner biodiversity policy, the report called for three key recommendations:

  • development of new data sources to better assess forest biodiversity at the state and landowner (or township) level;
  • development of incentives to encourage landowners to participate in sustainable forestry certification, and
  • development of state-level processes for annual tracking of large parcel transactions.

The scientists noted in the report that many of the new landowners declined to participate in the biodiversity practices survey. However, Manomet's Forest Conservation Program already has begun to initiate exchanges with some of the new landowners by establishing projects to protect forest plants and animals. The objective over the next year will be to build relationships with the new landowners to ensure they have tools and knowledge to be good environmental stewards of their land.

As the largest continuous forest area east of the Mississippi, the Northern Forest is important to the economic, social and environmental welfare of bordering communities in the Northeast. Located only a day's drive to a quarter of the U.S. population, the area has been a prime recreation destination since the 1800s, and is regarded as a cultural and ecological asset of U.S. significance. Some 10 million people visit the area annually.

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Contact: Mary Chalupsky
mary@eldercommunications.com
203-877-1905
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
11-Jan-2006


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