Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership

A panoramic view of a shared stewardship success story.

The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership is a grass-roots, private land forest conservation and economic development partnership in Northwestern Massachusetts.



A Shared Stewardship Framework in Northwestern Massachusetts

Map of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership in North Western Massachusetts

Map of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership. Click to view full-size.

The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership encompasses 361,941 acres of state and private land across 21 towns in Franklin and Berkshire Counties in Northwestern Massachusetts. A unique geology, calcareous wetlands, combined with rich northern forests make up a biologically diverse ecosystem. The forests are interrupted by farms and homes along mostly rural roads. Visitors are drawn to the area to hike, ski, hunt, camp, fish, and snowmobile. Locals make their living off the woodlands running recreation-based businesses, cutting and selling firewood, harvesting timber for local furniture or flooring, working as foresters, or tapping maple syrup. All the while, the forests provide critical ecological including clean water supply recharge and flood protection for portions of three major watersheds (Hudson River, Connecticut River, and Housatonic River), wildlife habitat and diversity, air purification, and carbon storage.

A man smiles from a canoe.

An older couple walk a chilly late fall trail along with their golden retriever.

A trail sigin points to the fire Tower hiking trail.

Two Franklin Land Trust smile while they pose fromt he bed of a pickup truck.

Image 1: A paddler on the Deerfield River from Bardwell’s Ferry Bridge in Shelburne to the Stillwater Bridge in Deerfield. Image 2: A pair of hikers and their dog hike along the section of the Mahican Trail that begins at Franklin Land Trust’s Mohawk Trail Conservation Area in Shelburne Falls and follows the Deerfield River east towards Conway. Image 3 A sign marks the entrance to the Fire Tower Trail. Image 4: Franklin Land Trust staff at FLT’s Mohawk Trail Conservation Area in Shelburne Falls. Photo credits: Image 1, 2, and 3 taken by Melissa Patterson-Serrill of the Franklin Land Trust. Image 4 taken by Wendy Ferris of Franklin Land Trust. 

2019 Shared Stewardship Framework

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service signed a Shared Stewardship Framework in November of 2019.  The purpose of the Framework is to assist the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and participating communities in furthering the goals of the Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership. State legislation supporting this effort was passed on August 9, 2018, establishing a formal framework for the Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership