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IN THE NEWS: Environmental briefs

• ‘COMPACT’ SEEKS MEMBERS: The Compact for Pioneer Valley Conservation, a new nonprofit entity, is looking for members, according to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

The new organization plans to assist land trusts and municipal conservation commissions and open space committees.

As a regional conservation program for the Valley, it will offer these services:

• Conserving land in the Pioneer Valley region, including important natural resource areas, farmlands, scenic areas, and water resource areas

• Providing technical assistance in land conservation work, including conducting baseline studies, holding and monitoring conservation restrictions, grant writing, and mapping

•Providing technical assistance to municipal conservation commissions and other municipal boards and departments with wetlands protection and land conservation work, including wetland permitting and plan review and site inspections.

The group is the fruit of an agreement between the nonprofit arm of the PVPC and regional land trusts and municipalities, including the towns of Hatfield and Southampton.

The PVPC received a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Finance and Administration to start the program.

To discuss project priorities for your community, and opportunities to participate, contact the PVPC’s Anne Capra at (413) 781-6045, or acapra@pvpc.org.

• GROUP HIRES STAFF: Conservation Works, a firm based in western Massachusetts that advises on land issues, has added two partners, Sarah la Cour and Dick O’Brien.

The outfit helps clients with the protection and stewardship of conservation and agricultural land, ecological inventory and monitoring, landscape planning and recreational design and construction.

la Cour has experience in historic and scenic landscape planning, conservation project management, landscape design, and illustration and recently worked as director of Conservation and Planning for W.D. Cowls Inc. in North Amherst. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. She lives in Amherst with her husband Niels and two high-school age children.

O’Brien worked for year with The Trustees of Reservations, where he served as regional director for the group’s central region. He holds a master’s degree in forestry from the University of West Virginia and has more than three decades of experience managing conservation properties and land acquisition projects. He lives in Leominster with his wife Susan.

Conservation Works’ other partners are Pete Westover, who founded the firm in 2005 with the late Terry Blunt, and Molly Hale. For more information, visit www.conservationworksllc.com.

It is involved with the Compact for Pioneer Valley Conservation project.

— Compiled by Larry Parnass

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