Though much attention has recently been given to the publically owned forests in MA, most of our forests are family forests, owned by thousands of families and individuals. 71% (or 1.2 million acres!) of these forests are owned by people that are 55 years old or older.
In the coming years, these woodland owners will need to make decisions about the future of their land. These decisions will have profound impacts on our forested landscapes and the benefits they provide. This is where we need to turn our attention.
UMass Amherst, the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership, and TTOR's Highland Communities Initiative, are pleased to announce their new publication "Your Land, Your Legacy: Deciding the Future of Your Land." The goal of this publication is to help these landowners and their families make an informed decision about the future of their land.
Land is often a landowner’s most valuable financial asset. However, land is not like other assets. Because land can be connected to memories, experiences, and feelings not normally associated with assets such as stocks and bonds, land may also have significant personal value. Deciding what to do with the land often brings with it the challenge of providing for the financial and personal needs of you and your family.
The good news is that land is a flexible asset that lends itself to creative solutions for gaining financial and personal value. However, developing creative solutions depends on families working together with an understanding of their options.
The new Your Land, Your Legacy publication can help landowners by providing information on
- Family communication;
- Professionals who can assist you and how to find them;
- Stories of other landowners who found ways to use their land to meet their needs and those of their families;
- how to take the next step in deciding the land’s future;
- additional resources.
Your Land, Your Legacy was developed thanks to the generous support of MA DCR’s Service Forestry program. We thank them for investing in one of the most pressing issues facing the forests of Massachusetts.