New England Forestry Foundation to release report on benefits region's forests after court rules that conservation land in Massachusetts provides public benefits that are sufficient to warrant tax exempt status for conservation charities
May 29, 2014
– On June 5th, the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) will be releasing an in-depth report titled "New England Forests -- the Path to Sustainability." The report follows the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that conservation land in Massachusetts provides important public benefits, sufficient to warrant tax exempt status for conservation charities. The report unveils -- for the first time -- research that quantifies twelve benefits of New England's forests, including those identified but not largely quantified by the court. The report spells out action items needed to keep these benefits for New England's residents.
"The SJC affirmed the importance of forests and now we have the solid scientific and economic analysis to back that up," said NEFF Executive Director Robert Perschel. "This is a nationally groundbreaking effort in that it covers the full range of forest benefits, from ecological and wildlife values to the actual products people use in their homes. As far as we know this has never been done before in one document. It points us toward a new partnership involving landowners, land trusts, foresters and forest industry."
The research report was funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and the Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust and will be released in full at NEFF's 70th anniversary event taking place on Thursday, June 5th at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center. Grantham Foundation co-chair Jeremy Grantham will be the keynote speaker. The event will also feature remarks from NEFF President Timothy Ingraham and Executive Director Robert Perschel who will discuss the findings.
"New England's forests have tremendous potential to provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to the citizens of the region," said Ingraham. "We have developed an infographic outlining the Path to Sustainability and how our forests can contribute. It includes 12 highlights that correspond to the chapters from the report, showing how we can manage our forests to give wildlife homes; provide more recreation; protect ourselves from climate change; and purify our drinking water among many other benefits."
The New England Forestry Foundation Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, June 5th, starting at 5:00pm at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. The featured keynote speaker will be Jeremy Grantham who with his wife, Hannelore, established the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment in 1998 to protect and improve the health of the global environment. Jeremy is a trustee of The Nature Conservancy and Rare Conservation and a supporter of NEFF. The event will include presentations during the annual meeting followed by a cocktail reception. All are welcome to attend with advance registration. Visit www.newenglandforestry.org/events for further information.