Twentieth-Century New England Land Conservation
Many partners have been involved over the last decade in developing an archive of materials documenting the evolution of land conservation in the six New England states. Coordinated by Charles H. W. Foster, this book is the culmination of efforts by volunteer citizens and officials in state, federal, and nonprofit agencies who were dedicated to telling the story of how they and their predecessors worked to protect the New England landscape through a century of civic participation.
Written by and about New Englanders, this book is relevant to others attempting to address conservation problems on a regional basis. These are the stories of people acting the New England way—recognizing a need, taking on a responsibility without being asked, and applying the Yankee attitude in order to bring about tangible conservation gains. But above all, the account is one of hope for the future for, as the authors document, conditions at the turn of the twentieth century were of a nature we would not tolerate today: cut and burned-over forests, eroded topsoil, depleted farmlands, streams choked with refuse and pollution, and species at the very brink of extinction. The stories told here are of people using what they had, setting to work to remedy these conditions, and doing so successfully. At a time of growing concern for the environment both locally and globally, theirs is a story certain to inform and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.
The Lincoln Institute began its involvement with land conservation issues in New England in the early 1980s by sponsoring seminars and later a series of meetings of the Land Conservation in New England Study Group. The Lincoln Institute has continued to offer a wide range of educational and research programs on land use planning for conservation, conservation finance, conservation easements, and land policy implications for climate change.
The Lincoln Institute is one of several supporters of this volume, which is published by Harvard University Press.
About the Editor
Charles H. W. Foster is adjunct research associate and lecturer at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a faculty associate at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He formerly served as commissioner of natural resources and secretary of environmental affairs in Massachusetts, president of The Nature Conservancy, and dean of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.