Wildlands in New England: Past, Present, and Future
A new study Wildlands in New England: Past, Present, and Future, shows why New England, with some of the most intact temperate forest on the planet, is uniquely positioned to help address the global crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and threats to human health and safety while also securing the region’s future. The report provides a baseline and path forward for policy makers, landowners, conservationists, and citizens to accelerate Wildlands conservation — permanently protecting areas from development to allow natural processes to unfold with minimal human interference.
The research from Wildlands, Woodlands, Farmlands & Communities (WWF&C) partners Harvard Forest, Highstead Foundation, and the Northeast Wilderness Trust shows that while 81 percent of New England is forested, only 3.3 percent has been permanently protected as Wildlands. This significant gap creates an urgent call to action for advancing Wildlands protection as part of an integrated approach to conservation that also includes forests managed for wood products, natural spaces for recreation, and farmlands that produce local food — all existing among communities that rely on the health and beauty of the land that they call home.
Wildlands in New England fills a critical knowledge gap by providing an inventory of the location, characteristics, and protection status of all 1.3 million acres of Wildlands across the six New England states. This report is the first to map and characterize all Wildlands across any region in the United States. The study includes:
- Data, analyses, and graphs and maps depicting Wildlands conservation across New England;
- A comprehensive summary of the study’s insights and recommendations for New England;
- State summaries which include recommendations for each of the six New England states; and
- An Interactive Wildlands Web Map that allows users to explore the location, size and ownership data for all New England Wildlands
The Rewilding Institute (TRI) mission is to explore and share tactics and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation and restoration in North America and beyond. We focus on the need for large carnivores and protected wildways for their movement; and we offer a bold, scientifically credible, practically achievable, and hopeful vision for the future of wild Nature and human civilization on planet Earth. Subscribe | Support