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A Guide to Land Conservation & Management Programs

Making Sense of Land Programs


The vast majority of western Massachusetts woodlands are owned and cared for by private individuals and families. Privately owned lands provide clean air, water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and contribute to the scenic beauty of our region. The decisions private landowners make about their land will determine what our region looks like in the future.

There are a wide range of programs offering expertise, funding, tax benefits, and help in taking care of land. However, the programs can be confusing and difficult to decipher.

The Franklin Land Trust and the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute created this simple tool to help navigate the alphabet soup of available programs. We included the common acronyms, basic definitions, benefits and drawbacks of each program as well as where to go for more information. In the interest of brevity, this publication oversimplifies complex programs, so be sure to read through all the materials, ask program staff questions, and do your research before enlisting. Asking friends and neighbors about their experience with these programs can be an effective way of learning more.

Download the guide here.

For a hard copy of the guide or if you have additional questions and would like more guidance on how to get started, please contact the Franklin Land Trust at (413) 625-9151.