Jul 17 2008

THE ACEC

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“Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) are places in Massachusetts that receive special recognition because of the quality, uniqueness and significance of their natural and cultural resources. These areas are identified and nominated at the community level and are reviewed and designated by the state‚Äôs Secretary of Environmental Affairs. ACEC designation creates a framework for local and regional stewardship of critical resources and ecosystems.”

The 12.9-mile corridor of the Upper Housatonic River from south Pittsfield to north Lee, including portions of the critical supporting watersheds that drain into the river from the east and west, is being nominated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). This stretch of the Housatonic is comprised of a complex and rich ecosystem that includes the river itself, adjacent wetlands and floodplains, several tributary streams, abundant wildlife, concentrations of rare species, and the steep, forested, western slopes of October Mountain State Forest. The river and its adjacent uplands also provide an array of dramatic scenic vistas and a wide range of public educational and recreational activities on protected lands, and include important historical and archaeological resources.



The Housatonic below New Lenox Road – Photo Courtesy EPA


This nomination has been prepared by an ad hoc Steering Committee on behalf of a coalition of conservationists and Housatonic River watershed stakeholders. The group began working on the feasibility of an ACEC nomination for this stretch of the Housatonic at the end of April, 2008. This research then evolved into the preparation of this nomination and its submittal to the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.




ACEC DOCUMENTS


You can read the entire Nomination of the Upper Housatonic River as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, submitted by Save The Housatonic to Ian A. Bowles, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, August 29, 2008. Download the entire ACEC Nomination Document [180 pages, 27.6 MB]


You can read individual sections of the Nomination Document:


Cover Page [1.9 MB]


Letter from ACEC Nominators to Ian A. Bowles, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, August 29, 2008. [103.3 KB]


Photographs [9.1 MB]


Table of Contents; and Main Text [1.7 MB]


Appendix A.1 – Maps; and Appendix A.2 – Map Documentation [10 MB]


Appendix B – 1935 Panoramic View of October Mountain State Forest [2.2 MB]


Appendix C – Mass Audubon, Important Bird Area (IBA) Documentation [1.5 MB]


Appendix D – MA DFW, Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Relative to the Proposed ACEC Designation [1.5 MB]


Appendix E – MA DFW, NHESP, Biodiversity Information Regarding the Proposed ACEC Nomination Area [1.5 MB]


Appendix F – A History of the Upper Housatonic River Corridor, by Bernard A. Drew [1.6 MB]


Appendix G – Description of Public Outreach [5.8 MB]


Appendix H – Letters of Support [4.4 MB]


Acknowledgments; and References [1.5 MB]



The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife prepared a series of maps for the nomination of the Upper Housatonic River ACEC.


Download the ACEC Topo Map.


Download the Upper Housatonic Orthophoto Map – North.


Download the Upper Housatonic Orthophoto Map – South.


Download the Upper Housatonic Habitat and Wildlife Map.


Download the Upper Housatonic Water and Wetland Resources Map.


Download the Upper Housatonic Land Use Map.


Download the Upper Housatonic Protected Open Space Map.


Download the Upper Housatonic Forest Resources Map.


Download the ACEC FAQs.


Download the ACEC Guidelines.


Download the ACEC Regulations.







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