RCP Stats

Coordinator: Ed Hood, Opacum Land Trust

Contact Info: ehood@opacumlt.org

Year started: 2007

Mission Statement:
“We protect high-quality natural lands, that are the home for rare and diverse species, both now and in the future. The lands are large and well-connected so species can roam around the landscape.”

General Location: Border of South-Central MA and Northeastern CT

Acreage of Area Covered by Partnership: 692,722

Acres Conserved by Partnership: 1553

Number of Partners: 28

RCP Status: Conserving

Steps Taken in Forming Partnership:

  • Draft a vision, mission statement, goals, and/or objectives
  • Develop a governance structure
  • Develop an RCP website
  • Develop a strategic conservation map
  • Engage landowners and/or municipal officials in your region
  • Engage state agencies, federal agencies, and/or philanthropic organizations
  • Coordinate or collaborate to conserve land as an RCP

Funding sources:

  • Norcross Wildlife Foundation for operating support
  • S.D.A. North East State Foresters Association Regional Pilot Project: NY/New England Family Forest Owner Management Initiative (2011 – 2014).
  • Regional Planning Association, Northeast Landcape Conservation Peer Exchange Program (2012)
  • S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program: Whip-Poor-Will Woods project, 1553 acres on seven parcels in Stafford, Ct., $3,935,000 (2014)
  • S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration grant, in partnership with the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership for “Creating a Sustainable Peer Leeder Network to Engage Priority Forest Landowners in Stewardship and Conservation in the Central Uplands” (2015-2018)
  • Partnered with New England Forestry Foundation and American Forest Foundation, and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science with funding from the Wildlife Conservation Society/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for Landowner Outreach for Climate-Adapted Forestry (2016-2017)
  • Partnering with New England Forestry Foundation and American Forest Foundation, and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science on a U.S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration grant for “Parcel Level Climate Adaptation in the MassConn Woods: “Tools for Foresters Actions by Landowners” (2017-2019)
  • Jesse B. Cox Charitable Trust RCP Innovation grant to create the MassConn Mapper Regional Conservation Strategic Priority map and GIS (2015-2016)
  • Jesse B. Cox Charitable Trust RCP Donated Land and Easement Grant program, to create the MassConn Regional Conservation Fund (2017-2019)
  • Lead Partner for Massachusetts for the Southern New England Heritage Forest N.R.C.S. Regional Conservation Partnership Program (2017-2021)
  • Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust “Blue Sky” award, $45,000, portion of which is currently being used to support a new USFS Forest Legacy application for the “Emerald Forest” strategic conservation region.

Website:  https://opacumlt.org/massconn/

RCP Activities

Specialties:

  • Large landscape conservation
  • Conservation mapping
  • Outreach/education
  • Transaction grants
  • Climate change resilience
  • Organizational development
  • Partnership organization and governance

Current Activities:

  • Implementing USFS LSR grant with New England Forestry Foundation
  • Implementng NRCS RCPP with The Last Green Valley and Northern Rhode Island Conservation District
  • Implementing Round 2 of the MassConn Regional Conservation Partnership Program
  • Leading the development of a new U.S.F.S. Forest Legacy application for The Emerald Forest Strategic Conservation Focus Area, in partnership with Yale Forest.

Previous Projects/Accomplishments:

  • Completed regional strategic conservation map and interactive GIS (2016)
  • Implementing USFS LSR landowner/woodland ambassador program, c. 200 landownerss engaged (2016-2017)
  • Launched a Cox Charitable Trust Donated Land and Easement Grant Program ($100,000)
  • The MassConn Regional Conservation Fund (Sept. 2017)
  • A lead partner for the Southern New England Heritage Forest RCPP - $6.1million (2017)
  • Implementing a LISWRCPP project in Monson, Mass
  • Partnering with AFF & NEFF on regional Landowner outreach and new LSR project (2016-2018)

Links to featured projects: