The Woodlands Partnership of Northwest Massachusetts is a unique local effort to both conserve our forests and support our region’s rural, land-based economy across the Northern Berkshire Mountains, hilltowns, ​and riverside villages of northwestern Massachusetts.

In 2013, a group of people who live and work in the northwestern corner of the state came together as leaders and representatives from about 30 entities—towns, nonprofit organizations, and business and academic organizations—to work cooperatively with the regional planning agencies in Franklin and Berkshire Counties, the State, and the U.S. Forest Service to create the Woodlands Partnership and further its goals.

The legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed legislation in 2018 to establish the Woodlands Partnership as a public body, and to create both an operational Woodlands Partnership Fund and an Investment Trust Fund for the region. In November 2019, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the U.S. Forest Service signed a Shared Stewardship Framework pledging cooperation on outreach and education to the communities, research and demonstration of “exemplary sustainable forest management practices,” and technical assistance related to local recreation and tourism.

Municipalities in the defined eligibility area can vote by Select Board, Town Meeting, or Mayoral decision to join the Partnership and garner its benefits. The first 11 towns to opt in sparked the creation of the Partnership Board, and, as of June 2024, 20 of 21 eligible towns have voted to join.

Find out more about what the Woodlands Partnership is doing in the region!