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“Bee” a Beecologist: Webinar 2/24

“Bee” a Beecologist: Webinar 2/24

Interested in becoming a ‘beecologist’? Please join our friend, Dr. Rob Gegear, for the first Beecology Project Webinar “Bee the Change” on February 24th from 12pm-1pm. He’ll give you the buzz about bumblebees, tell you about some of his online resources, and teach you how to use the new smartphone apps (Android and iPhone) to conduct bumblebee research in your own backyard! Bumblebees play a role in maintaining ecosystem health and biodiversity throughout Massachusetts, yet many... Read More
Wildlife Photos

Wildlife Photos

We have been fortunate to capture some great images and video of moose, bear, bobcat, beaver, and deer on our wildlife camera these last few weeks at a recently conserved property in Hawley, reminding us why we do what we do and the importance of keeping nature wild.   Our wildlife camera was purchased as part of a grant generously gifted by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.   Check back often for updated photos, or submit your wildlife photos to mlsabourin@franklinlandtrust.org for inclusion on our Wildlife page. Check out our Facebook page for recent... Read More
The Healing Power of Nature

The Healing Power of Nature

Science and popular culture may soon be starting to appreciate something that you have likely known for a long time—being in nature benefits the human body, mind, and spirit. It comes as no surprise to hear that being outside in the woods, surrounded by living, breathing plants, birds, and animals, can decrease your stress levels, improve your mood and fight depression, improve your memory, and improve your general sense of well-being. If you’re walking and getting your heart rate up, all the better. Though many of us have... Read More
A Guide to Land Conservation & Management Programs

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... Read More
Raspberry Hill Community Garden Now Accepting 2016 Growers

Raspberry Hill Community Garden Now Accepting 2016 Growers

Gardeners can now lease a plot at the Raspberry Hill Community Garden in Plainfield, MA for the 2016 growing season. Raspberry Hill currently has 15 garden plots available in the fenced garden and a community composting area but are expanding the garden area in the spring of 2016. The garden plots available are either 10 x 20 or 20 x 20 ft. Garden Plots are priced as follows: small - 10' x 20' = $15 for the season large - 20' x 20' = $30 for the season ... Read More
Enhanced Federal Tax Incentives for Land Conservation Made Permanent

Enhanced Federal Tax Incentives for Land Conservation Made Permanent

Over the last several years, we have seen enhanced federal conservation tax incentives come and go, which makes it difficult for landowners and land trusts to plan for. Fortunately, Congress recently made these incentives permanent, marking a significant accomplishment for conservation across the country. The federal conservation tax deduction allows landowners to deduct all or part of the value of a donated easement, known as a conservation restriction in Massachusetts, from their taxable income. If you own land with important natural or historic resources, donating a voluntary conservation restriction (also called... Read More
NEES Files Protest with FERC Charging TGP Pipeline Proposal Incomplete, Inaccurate

NEES Files Protest with FERC Charging TGP Pipeline Proposal Incomplete, Inaccurate

  BOSTON, Jan. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A leading nonprofit organization has filed a formal protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) charging that the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Company's application for the proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project is incomplete and riddled with inaccuracies. The 14-page protest document filed by Northeast Energy Solutions (NEES) requests that FERC reject the TGP application because it is "not minimally commensurate with the complexity of the proposal and its potential for environmental impact." The document lists more than 50 specific deficiencies in the application for... Read More
New Recreation Lands Program

New Recreation Lands Program

FLT Receives Funding to Help Landowners Create More Public Recreation Lands The Franklin Land Trust will be part of a new program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to help make more land accessible to the public. The USDA announced in early September that the program will bring $836,500 to a 28 town region of western Franklin county, northern Berkshire county, and northwestern Hampshire county over the next three years through the USDA’s... Read More
Two Men in a Barn by Pleun Bouricius

Two Men in a Barn by Pleun Bouricius

Two Men in a Barn by Pleun Bouricius A few weeks ago I spent some time one morning standing around with two men in a very large and very old barn, we three trying to solve a problem. If we’d had them we’d have been thoughtfully pulling on our beards. The barn is a landmark here in Plainfield, and it happens to live down the road from where I do. It is, unfortunately, showing signs of age even more significantly than I do. But then it is also quite a bit older. Until recently it... Read More

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