The FREMO Network

Welcome to the FREMO network! As a municipal official, you are in an excellent position to promote forest conservation in your community. However, municipal officials don’t always have the expertise or resources to move forest conservation forward.

The Forest Resources Education for Municipal Officials (FREMO)Network project was designed to help municipal officials overcome these barriers. Our goal is to provide a network of municipal officials that can provide you their experience, information, resources and advice on promoting forest conservation at the local level. After all,who knows better than other municipal officials how to promote forest conservation in a community.

As a municipal official, you know best which projects fit your community. Below is a listing of projects that municipal officials from across the state have worked on.  Each person listed has agreed to be a part of the network and be contacted for information and advice. Contact them or download resources from their project and get your forest conservation project moving forward!

Forest Conservation Projects

Chapter 61 Right of First Refusal (ROFR) Town Policy

A town may exercise it's ROFR or it may transfer it to an eligible conservation organization. In order to take advantage of the ROFR, it is recommended that communities establish a ROFR policy.  Below are contacts for communities that have established a policy, some example policies, and related resources regarding the ROFR process.

ROFR Policy - Town of Shelburne - Larry Flaccus

Other ROFR Resources:
Conservation and Land Use Planning Under Ch. 61
Summary of the ROFR Procedure

Management of Town Land

Town land can be managed for a variety of community benefits, including recreation, firewood, timber, and wildlife.  Below are contacts for communities that have successfully managed their town lands and some example documents.  Contact them to find out how they got started.

Town of Sturbridge Forest Stewardship Management Plan -  Erin Jacque or (508) 347-2506.
Town of Greenfield - Ralph Kunkel

Forestry Revolving Fund

It is possible to use forest management as a way to fund some of your community's conservation work.  To do this, you can create a forestry revolving fund that ensures that the proceeds from a timber sale goes to an account specifically for conservation activities.  This can be done as through a town warrant.

Forestry Revolving Fund Example - Norton - Jennifer Carlino or (508) 285-0275

Land Protection

Protecting land can be a very effective way for communities to realize their community development goals.  Below are contacts for people working to conserve land in their communities through a variety of means.

Successful LAND grant application - Jassy Bratko, Hubbardston Open Space Committee

Hosting a neighborhood conservation meeting - Tony and Ann Borton, Conway Open Space
Example invitation letter to a neighborhood meeting
Example agenda for a neighbrohood meeting

Town meeting vote to purchase open space
Example Town Meeting Open Space Flyer - Ashburnham

Prioritizing Land for Conservation - Shelburne - Larry Flaccus

Community Outreach and Landowner Education

Helping to inform the decisions of private landowners and connecting the community to forest resources are excellent ways to encourage forest conservation.  Below are contacts working to educate landowners and the community as to the importance of our forest resources.

"Hiking Through History" Getting people out for a hike to learn about both forests and local history. - Marcella Stasa, Upton Open Space and Ellen Arnold, Friends of Upton State Forest

Hosting a 'Woods Forum' program - Giving landowners the opportunity to ask their forest management and land conservation questions while meeting local professionals.
Jane Winn, Pittsfield
Radio story about the Workshop

Hosting a workshop on the Ch. 61 Programs - David Cole, Westport


Increasing residential development is one of the primary threats to the long term integrity of the region’s forests.  Zoning is one strategy available to towns to reduce the potential fragmentation effects of new residential development.  Below is an example of a community that developed innovative zoning for their community to conserve forests.

The town of Shutesbury pioneered an approach called Natural Resource Protection zoning that seeks to preserve the town’s forests by encouraging new development in the town center and existing villages, and reducing the amount of new houses that are allowed in the outlying forested areas.

Shutesbury Zoning Bylaw
Shutesbury Zoning Summary
Natural Resources Protection Zoning
Understanding Open Space Design

Contact:  Jeff Lacy or (413) 323-6921 x501

Recreational Trails

Creating and maintaining trails is a great way to connect people to forest resources, teach people about the value of forest resources, and promote forest conservation.

Types of Landowner Permission
How to Secure Permission for a Trail
Example Trail Consent Agreement - Ashfield Trails Committee
Recreational Trail Liability Under MA Law

Contact: Tom McCrumm - (413) 628-3268