Launched in the fall of 2014, the Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Initiative (H2H) engages landowners across southwestern Connecticut, Westchester and eastern Putnam counties in New York in the effort to protect imperiled streams, drinking water reservoirs, and plant and wildlife habitat. WLT is leading this effort collaboratively with the Highstead Foundation (on behalf of Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership), Mianus River Gorge, and Housatonic Valley Association, and is engaging more than two dozen local and regional conservation organizations and municipal partners thanks to funding from the US Forest Service. H2H is focused on the wooded metropolitan areas that share important landscape-scale, cross-boundary natural resources and are home to watersheds contributing to reservoirs serving drinking water to millions of people.
Conservation partners (local land trusts, conservation commission members, etc.) will receive several days of free, formal training in a variety of landowner engagement skills including Yale University’s “Tools For Engaging Landowners Effectively (TELE)”. Then, working in 13 focal areas, H2H groups will coordinate activities that will appeal to landowners eager to steward the resources on their land and/or protect those resources permanently through a conservation easement or land donation. H2H landowner engagement will lead to both long- and short-term tangible land conservation projects and stewardship gains. H2H partners will collaborate with landowners in areas that straddle town or state borders and contain land with tributaries that drain into reservoirs or habitats that are likely to adapt to climate change in the future. Through targeted peer-to-peer outreach, landowners will gain a better understanding of their vital role in sustaining the critical natural resources that support people and wildlife.
This project was funded in part through a grant awarded by the, U. S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. To read more about this project, visit Press Releases.