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Welcome to the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts (MACD)!

The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts represents the thirteen conservation districts of the Commonwealth, stretching from the tip of Cape Cod in the east to the purple mountains of the Berkshires in the west.  Districts are led by dedicated local citizens charged with protecting our most precious natural resources.  For more than half a century, districts have saved wildlife, stopped soil erosion, restored habitats, improved water quality, reversed pollution, enriched the environment, all the while increasing productivity and ensuring sustainable viability of our lands, forests, waters and coastal ecosystems.

Conservation Districts build on partnerships with state and federal government to protect and conserve the Commonwealth’s natural resources.

This simple web site offers information about the activities of conservation districts within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and provides a home for the MACD Training Program for supervisors, officials and staff of the state’s 13 conservation districts and members of the State Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources.  We welcome suggestions for improvements and submissions for postings.

 

Massachusetts Statewide Local Working Group Meeting (Virtual)

Thursday, September 29, 2022 12pm – 2 pm

On September 29 at 12:00 noon, the NRCS will host a statewide Local Working Group meeting over Zoom. Please note: even if you cannot attend the meeting, you can make your voice heard by filling out the NRCS survey, linked below. Answers to this survey will not only structure the LWG meeting, but will also guide our work going forward.

This survey and meeting are an opportunity to provide input on natural resource priorities for the NRCS and the state conservationist. Agricultural producers, owners/operators of nonindustrial private forest land, professionals representing agricultural and natural resource interests, and individuals representing a variety of disciplines in the soil, water, wetland, plant, forestry, and wildlife sciences are all welcome.

For more information on local working groups, see What are Local Working Groups

Please fill out this survey at least one week prior to the meeting (September 22 deadline). This survey will help us structure the meeting so that it responds to your needs. A list of definitions of the resource concerns listed in the survey can be found here. Again, even if you cannot attend the meeting, please fill out this survey—answers to this survey will guide our work beyond the statewide Local Working Group meeting.

To receive the link to the meeting, please RSVP by emailing Austin Miles at amilesmacd@gmail.com.

“Engaging with Farmers” guide now available!

August 2022

A year and a half in the making, MACD’s Small Farms Engagement Guide, now titled “Engaging with Farmers: Conservation planning on the small and diverse farms of Massachusetts,” is at last ready for widespread dissemination. Led by a team of talented MACD consultants, the project was commissioned by and for our colleagues at NRCS, many of whom participated in the development process – along with many other professionals at various partnering agencies as well as some two dozen farmers who took time out of their busy days to provide their input during personal interviews with the project team.

For a full description of the content and purpose of the guide, please see the Table of Contents and Introduction (pages 3-5). The intended audience is summed up by the first sentence: “Whether you are a new or long-time conservation planner – or any other professional who seeks to engage effectively with farmers in Massachusetts – this guide provides tools and strategies designed to help you evaluate and improve your interactions.”

Several unique features are available through the guide, such as a series of video clips placed alongside relevant content in the guide. These short clips are taken from those farmer interviews and serve to supplement the topics covered and bring it all to life. In addition, by opening the PDF, you’ll be able to activate all the many “hotlinks” to other useful materials throughout the guide and especially in the Additional Resources at the end.