Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Press Release

The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute and the Franklin Land Trust RECEIVE GRANT FOR Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture 2023 Coldwater Stewardship Small Grants Program Engaging Land Stewards in Fisheries Habitat Restoration in the lower Deerfield Watershed Headwaters of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Emily Boss, MWI, Executive Director]
413 625 9151

emily@masswoodlands.org
January 2nd 2023

The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute and Franklin Land Trust are pleased to announce they have received a $11,850.00 grant from the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture’s Coldwater Stewardship Program to support Engaging Land Stewards in Fisheries Habitat Restoration in Western Massachusetts Headwaters.

The project is a multi-step outreach program to engage western Massachusetts landowners in land management activities to enhance stream resources in the southern Deerfield River Watershed headwaters. These waters provide habitat for cold water fish such as native brook trout which are experiencing habitat loss at an alarming rate. Active involvement by forest land managers is critical to the survival of native fish populations.

This project uses aquatic, forestry, and riparian science to provide guidance on restoration and adaptation techniques to buffer the effects of increased precipitation and air temperatures on cold water streams, their floodplains, and surrounding forest stands.

Dubbed “Forests for the Fish” and collected in a written toolkit, these techniques will be made available as guides for landowners and forestry practitioners and managers.

The Massachusetts Woodland Institute and Franklin Land Trust will work with Trout Unlimited National staff to conduct outreach for the Forests for the Fish toolkit throughout summer and fall 2024. Outreach will include printing and distributing the toolkit to local landowners along coldwater streams and land management professionals; the partnership will host workshops to showcase practical implementation of the techniques; a kiosk of interpretive materials will be designed and installed on a demonstration site owned by Franklin Land Trust on the West Branch of the North River, part of the lower Deerfield River watershed; and finally a website of the toolkit, photos and video of past implementation projects, other partners, qualified land professionals, information about potential funding sources and ongoing enrichment opportunities to learn about riparian area management will allow for online access for anyone interested but unable to attend in-person outreach events.

Building on past partnerships between the MA Woodlands Institute, Franklin Land Trust and Trout Unlimited, these activities will launch Foresters for the Fish by summer 2024.

“The awarding of this grant to the Franklin Land Trust under the auspices of the Eastern Brook Trout Venture, US Fish and Wildlife and the Canaan Vally Institute, illustrates the importance for collaboration and marshalling of resources from diverse sources around the preservation, restoration, and stewardship of land and coldwater stream resources,” says Bill Pastuzek. Bill Pastuszek serves on the Franklin Land Trust board and heads Trout Unlimited’s Land Conservancy Work Group which administers the Schuyler Sweet Cold Water Conservation Gift, which is a fund that helps Land Trusts and Trout Unlimited work together to preserve land and coldwater resources.

“These collaborative efforts represent the multi-tiered effort necessary for success in an increasingly complex and challenging conservation environment. Through its Land Conservancy Work Group, Trout Unlimited applauds this crossover effort between a land trust and an organization devoted to preserving Brook Trout habitat.”

The award was made by Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (Steering Committee), a subaward of US Fish and Wildlife Service , through the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI), for the project Engaging Land Stewards in Fisheries Habitat Restoration in Western Massachusetts Headwaters. The award program is America’s Conservation Enhancement Act—National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships. The EBTJV Coldwater Stewardship Program provides small grants to support organizations in efforts to educate or provide training on coldwater conservation concepts and approaches that benefit wild brook trout.

“We are thrilled to continue many years of work and partnerships with Trout Unlimited local, regional and national chapters to develop the Forests for Fish Toolkit” says Emily Boss, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Woodland Institute “Through this and demonstration projects and a kiosk at the Franklin Land Trust Crowningshield Conservation Area in Heath, we aim to spread the word about improving and conserving native fisheries habitat. In a time when climate change is putting increased pressures on brook trout and many other native fish species in our region, bringing complexity to small headwater streams can help these populations better survive the impact of floods and drought. And ripple outward to benefit other animals that depend on streams: from moose to mayflies, from screech owls to salamanders. This grant was a perfect opportunity to work with Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture and Canaan Valley Institute, with their goals to conserve, enhance or restore wild Brook Trout populations that have been impacted by habitat modification, non-native species and other population level threats. We are grateful for their support.”

The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture is the only conservation organization dedicated entirely to protecting, restoring, and enhancing aquatic habitat for wild brook trout in the Eastern US region. EBTJV operates as one of 20 members of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit, non-advocacy organization that partners with community organizations, government agencies, and private individuals to preserve and improve water quality. Its mission is to ensure clean water, healthy streams, vibrant watersheds and thriving communities in Central Appalachia. The Canaan Valley institute is the 501c(3) sponsor of EBTJV and is located at 10624 Appalachian Hwy, Davis, WV 26260. For more information, visit www.easternbrooktrout.org, or contact EBTJV Coordinator at lori.maloney@canaanvi.org.

For more information about this project, please contact Emily Boss, Executive Director of MA Woodlands Institute and Community Conservation Program Director at the Franklin Land Trust, by phone at (413) 625-9151 ext. 104 or by email at emily@masswoodlands.org.

About The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV)
The EBTJV is the only conservation organization dedicated entirely to protecting, restoring, and enhancing aquatic habitat for wild brook trout in the Eastern US region. EBTJV operates as one of 20 members of the National Fish Habitat Partnership.

About the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI)
CVI is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit, non-advocacy organization that partners with community organizations, government agencies, and private individuals to preserve and improve water quality. Its mission is to ensure clean water, healthy streams, vibrant watersheds and thriving communities in Central Appalachia. The Canaan Valley institute is the 501c(3) sponsor of EBTJV and is located at 10624 Appalachian Hwy, Davis, WV 26260.
For more information, visit www.easternbrooktrout.org, or contact EBTJV Coordinator at lori.maloney@canaanvi.org.

About the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute and The Franklin Land Trust
The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute, a subsidiary of the Franklin Land Trust is a non-profit organization that encourages and assists land stewards in responsibly managing their woodlands. The Franklin Land Trust is a non-profit organization in western Massachusetts that assists farmers and other landowners who want to protect their land from unwanted development. FLT has helped hundreds of families in western Massachusetts to craft conservation plans that address their financial goals, family needs, and conservation vision.

MWI Website: http://www.masswoodlands.org/
FLT Website: https://www.franklinlandtrust.org/