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Informing Community Decisions through the Inventory of Local Lands Course

Posted: May 14th, 2012

Like many communities in Massachusetts, the town of Deerfield owns land, but the citizens aren’t sure what is on it or what their conservation options are.  They need information about their natural resources to make an informed decision that is right for the land and their community.  This spring semester, the “Natural Resources Inventory of Local Lands” class gave them the information they need to move forward.

Travis Buck, Fletcher Clark, Wynne Clark, Tyler Davidson, and Jess Ruebesam designed and implemented inventories to gather data on wildlife populations and forest vegetation.  They analyzed the data and produced a professional report for the town of Deerfield.  View the report.  In addition, the students presented their findings at a public meeting attended by the town’s selectboard, open space committee, landowners and interested citizens.  After the presentation, the students answered questions, informing the community’s discussion of the future of this property.

Not only were the students able to put into practice the theories and techniques they have been taught, but they have made an important conservation impact by informing the town of Deerfield’s decisions and inspiring them to move forward.