Land Conservation Tools
- Legacy Planning Tool: The intent of this tool is to help those starting the estate planning process better understand their options and find a professional that can help.
- Protecting Your Legacy: A Massachusetts landowner’s guide to conservation-based estate planning.
- Using a Will to Pass On Your Land
- Land Conservation Options: An Intro for Landowners in the Highlands of Western MA
- Frequently Asked Questions About Conservation Restrictions
- Conservation Restriction Fact Sheet
- Using the Conservation Tax Incentive
Open Space Planning
- Open Space Handbook: A Guide to Community Conservation in Massachusetts
- Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Massachusetts: Up-to date Cost of Community Services Analyses for 4 Massachusetts Communities
- MassGIS Oliver
- Assessor’s Database
- Massachusetts Land Records
- Article 97 Land Disposition Policy
- Berkshire Wildlife Linkage
Land Management Tools
- Your Land, Your Choices: A Landowner’s Guide to Critical Decisions in Land Management and Protection
- Running the Numbers on Forest Conservation Tools
- Forest Carbon, An essential natural solution for climate change.
- Picking Our Battles A Guide to Planning Successful Invasive Plant Management Projects
- Best Management Practices for Grassland Birds
- Caring for your Woods
- A Starting Point Private Lands Forestry covers the basics of a management plan including the roll of a forester, Chapter 61 tax program and estate planning.
- Working with Nature Private Lands Forestry gives a peek into how a woodlot fits into the natural surroundings as well as potential changes from climate change and invasive species.
- A Valuable Resource Private Lands Forestry provides a basis for putting a plan into action.
The Working Forest Initiative
- Working Forest Initiative: providing services such as free woodland evaluations
- Forest Stewardship Program & Green Certification: Recognizing the public benefits of good stewardship on private forest land, the Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program (MFSP) supports and encourages private forest landowners’ efforts to manage, enjoy, and care for their land using a long-term approach
- Foresters for the Birds: Provides landowners with information about bird habitat on their land, and recommendations about how to enhance it in conjunction with other forest management goals.
- Community Forest Stewardship Grant: offers grants to assist municipalities in implementing their Forest Stewardship Plan.
Other Programs for Land Owners
- MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program: Improve habitat(s) for game species, manage habitat(s) for Species of Greatest Conservation Need, and/or promote public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other wildlife associated recreation on conserved lands. See “Eligible Entities” in link.
- Forest Tax Law Program– assistance with the favorable tax treatment to forest landowners through MGL Chapter 61. Download booklet: Chapter 61 Programs Understanding the Massachusetts: Ch. 61 Current Use Tax Programs
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program: provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestry producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat.
- Pooled Timber Income Fund (PTIF): For a Pooled Timber Income Fund, landowners donate their land to the New England Forestry Foundation, and the timber on that land to a pooled income fund set up and run by NEFF. Landowners receive shares in the fund proportional to the value of their timber donation.
Land protection specialist in Berkshire County
A land trust is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that actively works to conserve land as a part of its mission.
Local Land Trusts
- Alford Land Trust
- Becket Land Trust
- Egremont Land Trust
- Great Barrington Land Conservancy
- Lee Land Trust
- Lenox Land Trust
- Monterey Preservation Land Trust
- New Marlborough Land Trust
- Richmond Land Trust
- Sheffield Land Trust
- Stockbridge Land Trust
- Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation
Regional Land Trusts
- Berkshire Natural Resources Council (operates throughout Berkshire County)
- Mass Audubon (operates throughout Massachusetts)
- The Trustees (operates throughout Massachusetts)
- New England Forestry Foundation (operates throughout New England)
- The Nature Conservancy (operates worldwide)
Public Conservation Agency
- MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
- MA Department of Fish and Game – Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A service forester is an employee of the state forestry agency who can speak with you and visit your land to provide free advice on management options and program opportunities.
- Peter Grima (serving Washington, Lenox, Richmond and North)
Phone: (413) 442-8928 x 127
- Tom Ryan (serving Stockbridge, Stockbridge, Lee, Becket South)
Phone: (413) 442-8928 x123
Find Surveyors, Appraisers, Accountants, and Attorneys
by town here: http://massland.org/resources/list-of-service-providers
- Land Trust Alliance Annual Rally (October)
- Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition Annual Conference (March)
- Host a Woods Forum