Forestry in the Bay State
Photo: Catamount State Forest in Colrain, MA
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the smallest and most densely populated states in the nation. It also has the eighth highest percentage of forestland and several regions that are renowned for their biodiversity.
One of the first sites of European settlement in North America, Massachusetts has undergone a long history of land use change, with widespread forest clearing throughout much of the nineteenth century. A strong tradition of broad-based support for the conservation of forests and the natural world developed concurrently, inspired in part by the writings of Massachusetts native Henry David Thoreau.
There are currently 3.2 million acres of privately owned forest land in Massachusetts and 310,000 acres of State Forests and Parks. Municipal watershed lands cover 245,000 acres and there are 351 municipalities with associated urban trees and forests.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and recreation, Bureau of Forestry carries out important forest management activities and provides services to private landowners through a range of programs and services.