Groton Conservation Summit 2017

3rd annual summit presents: Collaborative Conservation

At this years’ Summit, hosted by The Groton Trails Network, Dr. David Black, GCT trustee and the Gund Teaching Chair in Science at Groton School, gave a thoughtful presentation on Collaborative Conservation. His talk examined what we protect, and as individual groups, how we work together. In addressing the nearly 50 conservation-minded people in the audience, David noted that we do what we know best to do. “We mow fields to preserve early successional communities, remove invasive plant species when we have time, put up nest boxes and carefully consider the types of recreation most suitable for a parcel,” he explained. “We discuss hunting and the location of trails and we work to achieve a balance between the demands humans place on the lands with those needed by the plant and animal life that shares the space with us.”  But, he continued, “we know we now need to go further.”

In defining what “going further” means, he discussed what it means to maximize habitat diversity, issues associated with connecting parcels and working to understand the effects of climate change.  As he says he tells his students, “we are in the midst of a massive experiment, as we will understand the effects of climate change on biodiversity in a century or so.”

In an effort to underscore the importance of working together as conservation groups and as a community, the presentation posed a series of questions for further discussion and action.

The complete transcript of the presentation can be found here.