FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE… DATE: Oct. 1, 2020 CONTACT: Fran Kefalas, Assistant Director 860-774-3300 Fran@tlgv.org Make Your Woods Bird Friendly - TLGV and Partners Launch Next Round of $6.1 Million Southern New England Heritage Forest Grant Program Attention woodland landowners: Funding is available to improve your woodland habitat for important bird species and to manage your woods for wildlife and people. The Last Green Valley (TLGV), the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership (MassConn) and the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District (NRICD) are pleased to offer the next round of funding for woodland landowners to obtain forest management plans with bird habitat assessments. The program is part of the $6.1 million Southern New England Heritage Forest conservation effort, an unprecedented three-state collaboration made possible through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS funding is being matched, bringing the economic infusion into the region to $12.2 million. A professional forester will walk your property and coordinate with the Audubon society in your state to produce a high-quality forest management plan with a bird habitat assessment of your woods. The plan will recommend measures you can take to improve the health of your woods. The plan will meet federal and state requirements and may be used to apply for property tax reductions at the local level (where applicable). Grant funds are available to pay for most of the forester’s costs and to completely fund the bird habitat assessments. Landowners will be responsible for choosing a forester from an approved list and paying for a percentage of the total cost of the forest management plan. This program is ideally suited for landowners who have never had a forest management plan and own more than 10 acres of woodlands. Program requirements vary by state. To get started, contact the lead partner for your state. The partners can assist with the application process. The application deadline for Connecticut and Rhode Island is Dec. 31, but we recommend you begin the process early to ensure the application is complete before the deadline. Massachusetts is accepting applications on a rolling basis so you may apply at any time. Visit www.thelastgreenvalley.org for links to the application materials, including a list of communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island that are included in this program. Contacts: For Connecticut Projects – Bill Reid, 860-774-3300; email@example.com For Massachusetts Projects – Christopher Riely, 401-225-6135; firstname.lastname@example.org For Rhode Island Projects – Kate Sayles, 401-934-0840; email@example.com Supporting partners for this project include: MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Providence Water, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Hull Forest Products, Thames River Basin Partnership, New England Forestry Foundation, Eastern CT Conservation District, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, RI Division of Forest Management, RI Woodland Partnership, Harvard Forest, Yale Sustaining Family Forests Institute, Audubon Connecticut, Mass Audubon and Audubon Rhode Island. The Southern New England Heritage Forest is a 1.49 million-acre unfragmented forest corridor stretching along the Connecticut and Rhode Island border to the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. Bounded by more heavily urbanized areas, with more than one million nearby residents, the SNEHF has an astonishing 76 percent forest cover and offers one of the last viable wildlife corridors from southern to northern New England. The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is the heart of the Southern New England Heritage Forest and is the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C. The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!