A student project by Johnny Slaff ’18, Sam Freedman ’18, and David Grist ’18

The town of Deerfield is truly blessed with an abundance of natural resources, which are as productive as they are beautiful—from the
cool, forested uplands of the Berkshire Foothills and fertile banks of the Deerfield River, to the rich, sun-lapped cliffs of the Pocumtuck Range and iconic, meandering river channel of the Connecticut.

Like many towns in New England, Deerfield is a forested place: More than half of its land area is covered by a dense canopy of trees, which are finally beginning to stretch their mature limbs after being cut to stumps not two centuries ago. In the age of climate change, it is clear that protecting Deerfield’s trees is paramount for future generations of people and the ecosystems they inhabit. Trees purify air and water, support wildlife habitat, sequester and store carbon, provide fuel and construction materials, and beautify our built environments and communities. They are Earth’s ultimate living infrastructure.

This report prioritizes areas around protected land for conservation and recommends the protection of an interior forest “reserve” surrounded by sustainably managed woodlands.


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