chapter  14
14 Pages

Massachusetts' Landscape-level Land Protection Program

WithWalter E. Bickford

Biodiversity is the major goal in the missions of state and federal fish and wildlife agencies. In essence, these agencies strive to restore, protect and enhance the largest healthy populations of diverse indigenous species of flora and fauna within the biological and cultural carrying capacity of their respective jurisdictions. Fortunately, accompanying the increased magnitude, complexity and socio-political nature of current threats to biodiversity are new and powerful opportunities for fish and wildlife conservation. Through the application of geographic information systems technology Massachusetts has been able to develop an effective approach for landscape-level land protection. The Adopt-A-Stream Program views watersheds as ecosystems and by strategic use of several land-protection mechanisms contributes significantly to the conservation of biological resources by preserving areas of critical habitat and travel corridors between them. The program involves several levels of government, private conservation organizations, concerned citizens, and others in a coordinated effort to provide at least a minimum potential for biodiversity in Massachusetts.