Regional Conservation Planning—a work in progress

The Pine Barrens Partnership has launched a project to develop a Pine Barrens Guiding Principles and Conservation Vision Map for the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion.

Through intensive public outreach and a series of hands-on workshops we will encourage the creation of an inspiring vision and a set of guiding principles for protecting the entire Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens ecosystem.

A key to our success will be a high level of engagement of the public in this process, understanding that without their participation our ultimate goals of restoration, preservation, and protection will be limited to areas already prescribed for conservation.

We will not simply gather data. We will head out into the community and engage residents and visitors where they live: the parks, malls, recreational areas, tourist attractions and the like within our ecosystem.

At the same time we will reach out to those segments of the public that have already placed a specific value on the land: indigenous peoples, foresters, hunters, fishermen, historians and others.

We will point out where the environmental values of both the public and the conservation community intersect – and by doing so marry one to the other.

With a "values" layer in place, we will move to engage the conservation community through a series of workshops focused on identifying our most prized natural resources, creating cultural and environmental overlays and adding wildlife and species considerations – each layer building upon the next.

Our Partnerships' well-rounded steering committee – which includes restoration ecologists, climatologists, planners and foresters – will be key participants in this phase, but the public and every established conservation organization in the ecoregion will be encouraged to continue to participate.

Our ultimate goal is to establish an ecosystem-wide conservation context—represented by the Pine Barrens Guiding Principles and Conservation Vision Map – through which decision makers at every level can guide future development, un-development, conservation projects and land protection initiatives.

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The Pine Barrens Partnership thanks the Highstead Foundation for their leadership and support of the Pine Barrens Partnership's efforts to develop a strategic Biodiversity/Eco-region Conservation Plan and to the Highstead Conservation Intern Maggie Gardner for her excellent work.

PBP Regional Conservation Planning Project:

The Pine Barrens Partnership seeks to enhance public awareness, education, appreciation, stewardship, management, and ultimately protection and preservation of the locally special and biologically significant Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens ecoregion. This project to support the development of a strategic biodiversity/ecoregion conservation priorities map will partially support and directly inform the PBP's outreach, and engagement activities, as well as to help site future land restoration, stewardship, and land protection activities.

This is a work in progress. The map above is an example of the maps that are available for conservation planning.

1) To assist the Pine Barrens Partnership (PBP) in crafting draft conservation priority map(s) that incorporates existing publicly available geographic information systems (GIS) data sets including climate resilience and index of ecological integrity.

2) The planning maps incorporate and rank the following data sets:

  • Certified Vernal Pools
  • Potential Vernal Pools
  • Rivers
  • Ponds
  • Zone 2 Water
  • Critical Natural Landscapes (BioMap2)
  • Open Space
  • Powerlines
  • New England Cottontail
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Diamondback Terrapin
  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Whip-poor-will