Who We Are
The Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization created and guided by passionate sportsmen and women and conservationists who explore and enjoy the forests, fields, and streams of the Commonwealth throughout the year.
We are hunters, naturalists, and anglers. We believe that all people need to be able to find and access cool streams, open fields, and wooded hillsides, and that the maintenance of these values on a statewide basis provides all of us with the most essential opportunities that modern life can give for personal renewal and sustenance.
Why We Are Here
And yet, despite the best efforts of all the state and private organizations that work so diligently to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in the Commonwealth and around the world, we know that only with the concurrence and commitment of people like you can we as a society hope to maintain what remains of our outdoor heritage, our living legacy.
Indeed, the private individual has always been at the center of wildlife protection in this country, and much more so than in Europe, for example, where most preserves are privately held in the control of wealthy families, including the royal and noble families. On the contrary, in the United States it has always been the personal and collective efforts of individuals that have initiated and supported the only truly sustained conservation efforts in our history. These individuals and groups looked beyond the gratification of the moment and acted selflessly, in the interest of the future of the particular resource, for the ultimate benefit of all of us.
The founders of the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation believe that real, sustainable conservation is impossible without the engagement and commitment of individual citizens, the men and women who live and work in the surrounding matrix of rural neighborhoods and small towns, and central to our mission is the desire to enable and foster the continuance of the common person's love for and connection to his or her local natural places, right here in Massachusetts.
Finally, as we work to conserve and protect "nature," it is vital that we recognize "the role of nature not as some thing to be protected, but as the container of all we know and do."1 Such recognition acknowledges a single human being's very limited capability to gauge and predict the effects of society's collective actions, while it also compels us to acknowledge our utter dependence on healthy, functioning ecosystems and landscape processes. Outdoorspeople, the hunters, naturalists, and hikers among us, have a pivotal role to play in our civilization's current work toward achieving true sustainability and conservation.
Our Guiding Principles
Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage has a simple, singular goal: to guarantee that the vital connection and the personal renewal we all experience in our Commonwealth's great remaining wildlife lands and natural areas will endure, and continue to delight and sustain us and our descendants forever.
- In particular, the foundation's board of directors seeks to provide expertise and funding for projects that will:
- conduct surveys and research to inventory and prioritize our most imperiled landscapes;
- reach out to children and citizens
- manage protected lands to restore and maintain habitats for our native species of animals and plants;
- of all ages with informative nature, sporting, and biodiversity education programs that engage and bring them out into the natural world.
We work to create cooperative partnerships to find and fund the best wild lands and wildlife projects directly, and provide pivotal collaboration by assisting without duplicating the exemplary efforts of our sister environmental organizations and our state wildlife agency, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife).
Sportsmen and naturalists who donate to the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation are confident that their gifts and bequests to benefit wildlife and rare and endangered species will not be diverted to other unrelated or even contradictory purposes in time of fiscal crisis in the Commonwealth.
Donors also know, given the foundation's close working relationship with MassWildlife, that the projects and research we sponsor or contribute toward are based on rock-solid science, rigorously applied. At the same time, our independent status allows the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation to be more nimble than MassWildlife, acting faster and at a finer scale than is always practical or possible for a large state agency.
This independence also allows Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage to augment and complement the important work of MassWildlife and other wildlife organizations throughout the state. In this spirit, we will be announcing a variety of pivotal small grants in the fall of 2007. Details of the grants and the awards event will be available on our home page later this summer, so please check back in late September for more information.
A Partial List of Board Members
Stephen Sears (President) of Dalton, President, The Stationery Factory
Jack Buckley (Clerk) of Hopkinton, Director, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Brian Beaton of Shrewsbury, Partner, Mirick O'Connell, Attorneys at Law
Walter Bickford of Berlin, former Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
George Darey of Lenox, Chairman, Fisheries and Wildlife Board
John DeVillars of Boston, Partner, BlueWave Strategies; former Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Bob Durand of Marlborough, Durand and Anastas, Environmental Strategies; former Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Ernest W. Foster of Worcester, President, Ernest W. Foster Companies
Garrett Hollands of Boylston, Vice President (retired), ENSR|AECON
Wayne MacCallum of Grafton, retired Director, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Bernard McHugh of Wilson, Wyoming, Conservationist & CEO of W.J. Grosvenor & Co.
Dr. Richard H. Peters of West Newbury, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Rare Diseases, Sanofi Genzyme
Stephen Quill of Lancaster, retired, former National Chair, Ruffed Grouse Society
Paul Svetz of Lincoln, former Trustee, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust
With coordination assistance from Susan Sacco of Orange
In Memorium Sally Bell of Lenox
(A complete list of the current board members at the present time is available upon request.)