Announcement: $70,000 Cox Grant Received

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The Harvard Forest, together with Highstead and Mount Grace Conservation Trust, received a $70,000 grant from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust to advance the Wildlands and Woodlands Vision in New England. The grant supports collaborative activities in three areas: conservation partnerships, conservation finance, and conservation science.

Conservation partnerships are critical to large landscape conservation. Highstead will work with Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) in New England to provide targeted capacity and resources for accelerating the pace of forest conservation through multi-parcel aggregation and other approaches.

The Cox funding will also support a conservation finance pilot project by Jay Rasku of the Mount Grace Conservation Trust, together with Jim Levitt of the Harvard Forest. They will test the potential for establishing a Conservation Investment Zone in the Quabbin-to-Wachusetts region of Massachusetts, using new market tax credits and other finance mechanisms.

In addition, the Cox grant will support a project by the Harvard Forest and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to develop and analyze scenarios for the forests of New England. Just as the original Wildlands and Woodlands vision originated from a group of academics, we hope that the forest scenarios project results will motivate and inform forestland conservation across the region.