WOODLANDS PARTNERSHIP of Northwest Massachusetts
THE WOODLANDS PARTNERSHIP of Northwest Massachusetts is a unique local effort to both conserve our forests and enhance our region’s rural, land-based economy across the Northern Berkshire Mountains, hill towns, and riverside villages of northwestern Massachusetts.
In 2013, a group of citizens who live and work in the northwestern corner of the state
came together as leaders and representatives from about 30 entities—towns, nonprofit
organizations, and business and academic organizations—to work cooperatively with the
regional planning agencies in Franklin and Berkshire Counties, the State, and the U.S.
Forest Service to create the Woodlands Partnership and further its goals.
The legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed authorizing legislation in 2018 to establish the Woodlands Partnership as a public body, and to create both an operational Woodlands Partnership Fund and an Investment Trust Fund for the region. In November 2019, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the U.S. Forest Service signed a Shared Stewardship Framework pledging cooperation on outreach and education to the communities, research and demonstration of “exemplary sustainable forest management practices,” and technical assistance related to local recreation and tourism.
Municipalities in the defined eligibility area (see map below) can vote by Select Board, town meeting, or Mayoral decision to join the Partnership and garner its benefits. The first 11 towns to opt in sparked the creation of the Partnership Board, and, as of October 2022, 17 of 21 eligible towns have voted to join.
Click here for Woodlands Partnership Board members
Click here for Woodlands Partnership Standing Committees