New England/New York Forestry Initiative
The New England-New York Forestry Initiative Mission
Through the New England-New York Forestry Initiative (NENYI) the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), forest landowners and land managers implement voluntary conservation practices to help to keep forests as forests that provide clean drinking water, support rural economies and protect wildlife habitat.
The forests are diverse, ranging from the extensive broadleaf deciduous and mixed forests to montane and lowland spruce-fir and low elevation forests of oak, pine and hickory. They stretch from the Atlantic coast to the highest mountain peaks in the area.
The forests provide opportunities for recreation, tourism, and logging. They also provide critical habitat for a variety of wildlife including moose, black bear, lynx and migratory bird species that migrate incredible distances to Central and South America during the winter.
Forests define the character of the region and are an integral part of its economy and culture.
How Does This Initiative Work?
A 2006 Forest Service study reports that the 43,000 identified owners of over 1.75 million forested acres plan to sell some or all of their acreage in the next five years. Eighty percent of the forest land in New England is privately owned. As the average parcel size decreases and development accelerates on the landscape, the timber value of the land is far outpaced by the development value.
NRCS is working with forest landowners to plan and install conservation practices that will improve forest health, reduce erosion, and improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. These efforts will assist NRCS in meeting the USDA strategic goal of “ensuring that private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while enhancing our water and wildlife resources. ”
How Does This Benefit Producers?
Landowners can receive technical support & financial assistance to plan and install conservation practices. Conservation practices include forest stand improvement, the restoration of rare and declining habitats, early successional habitat management, riparian forest buffers, erosion control on forest trails and landings, stream habitat improvement and fish passages. By implementing these conservation practices, forest landowners can look forward to an improvement in their land as well as a productive future for themselves and future generations.
How Does This Benefit the Public?
Covering over 52 million acres, the forests of New England and New York make up the largest contiguous temperate forest found in the country. In the New England/New York area, sustainably managed forests serve as the backbone for rural economies by providing renewable energy, forest products, outdoor recreation, and tourism. The forests also provide clean water for the public, improved habitat for fish and wildlife, and contribute to the region’s scenic beauty. Because of the efforts for forest land restoration, forest landowners can look forward to an improvement in their land as well as a productive future for themselves and future generations.
State and local natural resource agencies, wildlife organizations and forest landowner organizations work with NRCS to leverage federal funding for this initiative – making it possible for the NENYI conservation investments to reach even further.
NRCS works with non-profit and private organizations, local, state, and federal governments and individuals across the nation to support forest stewardship. Whether these partnerships augment funding sources, increase return on investment or provide boots-on-the-ground support, NRCS and its partners are committed to helping people help the land.