Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.

Conservation Program Initiatives

Conservation > Initiatives

Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Initiative


H2H Map

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The Hudson to Housatonic Initiative is a collaborative effort of more than two dozen local and regional partners aimed at protecting drinking water sources and plant and wildlife habitat.

The program focuses on engaging landowners across Fairfield County in Connecticut and Westchester and Putnam counties in New York to drive the conservation of watersheds and habitats that are likely to adapt to climate change. The first H2H workshop was held at Highstead December 11 and featured a mix of presentation and activities to help participants see conservation through a climate change lens. Click here for presentation videos from the workshop.

This project is funded in part through a grant awarded by the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. H2H is part of the Landscape Scale Restoration Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.

H2H is lead by Highstead (on behalf of the Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership), along with Westchester Land Trust, Mianus River Gorge, and Housatonic Valley Association.

Click here for presentation videos from the H2H workshops.



Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative Coordination and Conferences

The Highstead Conservation Director is also the Coordinator of the W&W Initiative and works to convene W&W leaders quarterly and to help advance a suite of synergistic initiatives focused on accelerating the conservation of New England’s natural landscapes. Highstead also convenes an annual meeting of W&W partners every year, and encourages people and organizations of all geographies and sectors to join in as a W&W partner in support of accelerated and concerted forestland conservation in New England. And Highstead convenes a major annual conference for the RCP Network (see below) in order to provide technical training and opportunities for peer exchange. For more information, please visit the Wildlands and Woodlands website, or contact Cheryl Daigle cdaigle@highstead.net if you would like to be more involved.

New England Forest Policy Group

Since 2011, Highstead has convened conservation groups across the region in the New England Forest Policy Group to highlight the critical importance of New England’s forests and to advocate for increased federal funding and improved policies to conserve them. The group’s annual publication, A Policy Agenda for Conserving New England Forests, makes a compelling case that our region’s forests provide valuable and irreplaceable benefits—from ecosystem services including clean air and water to economic benefits including tourism and the wood products industry. In 2012, 85 organizations endorsed the forest agenda, and this influential effort continues to build momentum in Congress and beyond for redoubling our forest conservation efforts.

The Forest Policy Group, including 60 conservation and forestry organizations, submitted testimony this spring to both the Senate and House Interior Appropriations Subcommittees regarding priorities for New England in the FY14 budget, and is in the midst of updating a more comprehensive Forest Policy Agenda for the New England Congressional Delegation.