About Us

The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute (MWI), a subsidiary organization of the Franklin Land Trust (FLT),  is a non-profit organization that encourages and assists landowners in responsibly managing their woodlands. We believe that taking an active role in managing your woods will benefit wildlife, the local community and economy, and can provide you with financial, recreational, and personal rewards.

MWI administers the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's Forest Stewardship Program and the Foresters for the Birds Program in partnership with MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Massachusetts Audubon. We also work with the United States Forest Service to help people learn about the bird and wildlife friendly nature of responsible woodland management and to find local wood products through the Western Mass Woods directory and marketplace. 


Work with Franklin Land Trust

The Franklin Land Trust is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that works with landowners and communities to protect their farms, forests, and other natural resources significant to the environmental quality, economy and rural character of our region. By working with FLT, MWI is able to offer expertise and assistance to landowners about permanently conserving their land, as well as managing and caring for the land.

In its 18 years of existence, the Institute has conducted research on forest use, wildlife enhancement and marketing of forest products; offered educational programs to landowners, rural businesses and the general public; developed and implemented standards for responsible, third-party verified forestry practices; and assisted in certifying that landowners and small businesses meet such standards. MWI is housed at shared offices with Franklin Land Trust in Shelburne Falls, MA.

MWI History

The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute was founded as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization in 2001 with a mission to help landowners and the general public maintain the rural environment, promote conservation and enhancement of forests, farms and businesses in the rural environment; and foster community and business development.

The Institute was founded as a sister organization to the Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative (MWC), a landowner-based harvesting, processing and marketing cooperative covering Western Massachusetts. The primary objectives of the Cooperative was to support high-quality forestry on members’ properties, protect the local environment, and promote the use of local wood products. The Cooperative closed its doors in 2011.

"New Partnership Protects Woodlands, Supports Landowners," (FLT Fall Newsletter 2012)

History of the Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative (MWC, 2011) 


Resources and Reports

Cultivating Edible Woodland Mushrooms - Resources and Readings (2023)

Understory Crop Feasibility Study: Landowner Overview (MWI report, 2008)

Understory Crop Feasibility Study: Technical Report (MWI report, 2008)



Staff and Board


Emily Boss, Executive Director

Board of Directors

Brian Donahue, President

Will Sloan Anderson, Vice President

Laura Eve-Cowles, Clerk

David Bowman 

John O'Keefe

Jack Lochhead

Nicole St Clair-Knobloch


The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute partners with regional and statewide organizations to help landowners build healthier woodlands and wildlife habitat.

Partners include:


We are working together to provide expertise, assistance and funding for landowners who want to develop long-term plans for their forests, create habitat for wildlife, and work toward enriching the land we value.

Through this partnership landowners can get funding for:

MA DCR's Forest Stewardship Plans: available to all Massachusetts landowners

MA DCR's Bird Habitat Assessment Plans: available to Massachusetts landowners with a Forest Stewardship Plan in all towns west of the Connecticut River

Western Mass Wood: sources and marketplace for local wood in the five western county region Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester). 

Woodlands for Wildlife: Funding that was aside for forestry practices through the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) available to landowners in 28 towns in northwest Massachusetts


Contact Us

Massachusetts Woodlands Institute
PO Box 450
5 Mechanic St
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
(413) 625-9151

Emily Boss, Executive Director