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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Like the YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON INITIATIVE in the Rocky Mountain West which seeks to create large protected wild habitat with continuous wildlife safety corridors linking those habitats, the HARVARD FOREST WILDLANDS AND WOODLANDS PARADIGM is laser focused on protecting 70% of New England's remaining forests in a matrix of both working forests(Woodlands) and forever wild forests(Wildlands)...................Our friend and head of the HARVARD FOREST, David Foster is tirelessly collaborating with land trusts, industry and private landowners to make this vision a reality over the next 50 years

W&W at a Glance
Wildlands and Woodlands calls for conservation of 70% of New England as forests—while we still have this spectacular chance. W&W celebrates the many committed people conserving land today.

And offers new ways to collaborate to double the pace of conservation.
Together we will sustain the forested and natural landscapes that in turn sustain us. 

From: Meril, Rick
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:26 AM
To: 'Foster, David'; Harvard Forest
Subject: RE: Wildlands and Woodlands

David………… and your colleagues and partner groups are to be commended for "walking the walk" and not just "talking the talk"……………I always think about fantastic it would be for some of  successful hi-tech entrepreneurs(Facebook/Google/Amazon, etc, etc) to do a "Roxanne Quimby" and donate $50 to $100 million a piece to get land preservation accomplished in a connected, one fell swoop move…………………All of the Tech guys verbalize their concern for the environment,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,where is their "walk the walk" on the foundation pinning of biodiversity,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,land preservation?

Best to you David……………….


From: Foster, David
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:07 AM
To: Meril, Rick
Subject: Wildlands and Woodlands


Hope all is well with you.  And, thanks very much for your recent support of W&W.  I was just up in Orono, Maine  for a PhD thesis exam where the student had analyzed the history of land protection in the three northern New England states.  He estimates that if efforts continues as they have for the last two decades that the W&W goal of 70% of the landscape conserved will be reached in 85 years (as opposed to the 50 projected in W&W).  But, if we can make the same kind of increase in land protection that we have three times in history we will reach the goal in 45 years.  Wonderful to see folks working with a vision as a goal.

Best, David

David R. Foster   978.724.3302
Director, Harvard Forest, Harvard University
324 N. Main Street   Petersham, MA 01366

How might the New England landscape change in 50 years, and what consequences might follow for people and the environment?

A groundbreaking study released in mid-December, led by the Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institution, examined four possible scenarios for the future of the Massachusetts landscape depending on land-use decisions we make today. The researchers' most significant finding indicates that recent forest loss trends, if they continue unabated, will undermine land conservation gains, damage water quality throughout the state, and limit the ability of the landscape to protect against climate change. 

The results of the study are summarized in a new report, Changes to the Land: Four Scenarios for the Future of the Massachusetts Landscape. In the study, Harvard Forest and Smithsonian scientists brought together a diverse group of eight natural resource professionals to develop four plausible land-use futures, and used sophisticated computer models to conduct a 50-year, acre-by-acre analysis of how each alternative would affect the valuable ecosystem benefits currently provided by the Commonwealth's forested landscape.

The four landscape scenarios developed and analyzed for Massachusetts are Recent Trends, Opportunistic Growth, Regional Self-Reliance, and Forests as Infrastructure. The scenarios reflect different amounts and intensities of land development, timber harvesting, farmland expansion, and forest conservation.

Scenarios are not predictions but they can showcase important ways that our land use decisions today can have tremendous consequences for the world we live in tomorrow.

One central finding of the study is that the Forests as Infrastructure Scenario, which 1) increases the pace of conservation, 2) focuses on far more clustered development, and 3) expands sustainable forestry, ranks the highest overall in terms of protecting the many water, climate, wildlife, flood control, and other benefits provided to people and nature by our forested landscapes. 

As noted by lead author Jonathan Thompson, Senior Ecologist at Harvard Forest, "What we found is that land-use decisions have immediate and dramatic impacts on many of the forest benefits people depend on…The results of the study show that sprawl, coupled with a permanent loss of forest cover in Massachusetts, create an urgent need to address land-use choices."

Given the major transitions the Commonwealth is facing today—not only in forest cover but also in state leadership and public policy—it is important to consider the policy implications of this study. The Executive Summary includes a short Policy Addendum that highlights key areas where Massachusetts can help conserve nature's vital benefits through 1) recommitting to land conservation, 2) redoubling land use policy and planning, and 3) promoting sustainable forestry. 

The researchers have received National Science Foundation funding to extend the study throughout the rest of New England over the coming decade. 

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