The Western MA Chapter's territory includes some of the finest scenery in the state: the Appalachian Trail corridor; the Housatonic and Westfield River watersheds with their almost uncountable streams, cascades, and waterfalls; the Greylock Massif; much of the Taconic Mountains, the Berkshire Hills and the Hoosic Range. We have the blessings of all this, but with that comes the responsibility to steward it thoughtfully. This territory needs protection from development efforts that mar the beauty or damage the ecosystems we cherish.

We can and should be the voice for conserving the natural treasures that surround us.

We can and should be the voice for conserving the natural treasures that surround us.

The Western MA Chapter has about 2,300 members. We can and should be the eyes and ears that are alert to regional environmental threats as well as to opportunities to acquire and protect these treasures. While out on the trails and rivers, we need to be on the lookout for actual or potential damage. We need to check with our town planning and zoning bodies. We need to scan our local news sources. We should be speaking at town meetings and hearings. We should be writing to legislators and newspapers. We should know what is happening or planned and we should act to conserve what we care about.

If you believe you can work with us to conserve our natural treasures please consider joining the Western MA Conservation Committee. You can help with any of these tasks: letter writing, issue research, monitoring, municipal and legislative contacts, or any others you may think of, to whatever extent you are able. Even a small amount of volunteer time each month can go a long way!


After years of reduced budgets, environmental programs and agencies in Massachusetts are poised to receive a real boost in funding. The House, mindful of how important the natural environment is to the well being of the state, has passed a budget including substantial increases for the Department of Conservation and Recreation and related programs. The Senate is now debating the budget and messages to senators urging them to match the amounts called for by the House are needed.

Please email your state senator requesting that they support the following budget amendments:

  • Amendments #37 and #76: Increase funding for state park operations by $22 million.
  • Amendment #54: Restore much-needed funding to protect clean drinking water through the Commonwealth’s watershed management programs.
  • Amendment #162: Department of Environmental Protection: Administration (2200-0100) – Increase to $40,000,000, consistent with the House.
  • Amendment #163: Department of Conservation and Recreation - State Parks and Recreation (2810-0100) – Increase to $50,000,000.
  • Amendment #164: Natural climate solutions to protect, restore, and better manage natural and working lands.
  • Amendment #165: Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLTC) - amend the General Laws to raise the cap for the CLTC program from $2 million to $5 million per year.
  • Amendment #172: Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (2310-0300) – Increase to $500,000, consistent with the House.
  • Bill S.485: An Act Authorizing the Establishment of Old Growth Forest Reserves, referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means.


Reduce, ReUse, Compost, and Recycle in Western Mass

[10‑Aug‑2023] Amy Donovan
What happens to the materials we put in the trash, recycle, and compost bins? Do recyclables really get recycled? What is accepted in recycling and composting programs? How can households reduce trash and save money through composting and recycling? VIEW »
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