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Paying it Forward for the Northern Forest

Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2022
— Connections 2022 Fall

Greetings Friends, and welcome to the Fall 2022 edition of CONNECTIONS, the quarterly newsletter from Cold Hollow to Canada. We’ve had a brilliant stretch of late fall weather, and while our forests may have had a slow start, the fireworks of fall foliage were as good as any I can remember. I hope you and yours have had a chance to get out and enjoy this glorious time of year. The snow arrived last week, so hopefully your wood pile is up, your skis are waxed, and your woolies are back out of the cedar closet.

Thanks to everyone who turned out for our Annual Gathering on October 20th. We packed the Grange Hall in Montgomery with close to one hundred folks in attendance for a delicious meal care of Café Oma, and a conversation with John Erickson of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. John challenged us to think like a bioregion. Bioregionalism is a philosophy that suggests that political, cultural, and economic systems are more sustainable and just if they are organized around naturally defined areas called bioregions, similar to ecoregions. The CHC region is located in the Northern Appalachian-Acadian Ecoregion—spanning over 80 million Acres, encompassing the eastern edge of North America and forming the last, largest ecologically intact temperate broad leaf forest anywhere in the world. We can also zoom into CHC’s seven town region, thinking about bioregionalism on a smaller community scale. Looking beyond our borders, we also considered how the principals of bioregionalism could be applied in more suburban or urban environments. A huge thanks to John for his thought-provoking talk, and cheers to all those helped make it such a successful evening.

As we turn our attention towards the year-end, we at Cold Hollow to Canada (like many other organizations) are thinking of philanthropy, and our end-of-year drive to support our work financially. This year you’ll see two asks from CHC. Our first will come on Giving Tuesday, a day for giving back in whatever way we can. This year our efforts on this National Day of Philanthropy will focus on building capacity for our Community Science programs, raising funds for additional game cameras to assist in our tracking efforts monitoring our resident populations of the charismatic species which call our corner of the Northern Forest Home, from black bear and moose, to bobcat and catamount.

You’ll also soon see our Annual Appeal letter, an ask that as you consider year-end giving you keep CHC in mind. This year funds raised though the Annual Appeal will go towards supporting our Land Conservation efforts. Your support this year will be matched by two significant awards from the Network for Landscape Conservation’s Catalyst Fund and Canaday Charitable Trust. These funds will expand the coordination capacity between CHC and our partners to develop a conservation strategy for prioritizing land conservation opportunities within the landscape, and focus on providing financial assistance to landowners to offset some of the costs of conservation, including conservation appraisals for interested landowners and additional assistance to cover closing costs, legal fees, and stewardship endowments–all pieces of the conservation process that can make the price of land conservation inaccessible to many landowners. Your financial support will help build greater capacity to move this work forward as we seek to accelerate the pace of our easement work towards our 2030 goal of doubling the amount of permanently conserved forestland in our region.

We could never have come so far without your support, and our gratitude is boundless. Looking forward—now in our fourteenth year of work—we’re excited for the opportunities to come as we advance the shared vision for a healthy and intact forested landscape that supports a strong and sustainable local economy through stewardship, with protection of core wildlife habitat and connectivity across the entire Northern Forest.

In gratitude, the CHC Board.