Preserving Massachusetts’ Forests


SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — As cities and towns in Massachusetts continue to expand, we’re losing more and more of our forest land. It used to be at 70 percent in the 1970′s and now it’s down to 60 percent.

A first of its kind joint study between Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institute addresses the problem.

Jonathan Thompson works for Harvard Forest. He says trends like new roads and commercial development are contributing to the loss of forest cover, but he says decisions we make today can change that.

“This is the backdrop of our lives, but it’s not just a collection of trees and it’s not just the backdrop.  These forests are cleaning the water for us, they’re cleaning the air, they’re regulating flooding, they’re sequestering the carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change, they’re also providing wildlife,” Thompson explains.

Thompson also says if we continue at the rate of development that we’ve seen, the Connecticut River Valley alone would lose more than 30 thousand acres of forest in the next fifty years.

  • alpinequeen

    In the mid 1800′s, New England forests covered only 30 to 40 percent after the early settlers did their clearing, farming and logging operations.