Series: Stories of Massachusetts Conservation

The National Conservation Movement focused on preservation of large wilderness tracts of land at distant locations. The conservation story in Massachusetts, on the other hand, is about people interacting with nature in their own communities and the evolving conservation stewardship ideas. Discover conservation efforts in Massachusetts dating back to the nineteenth century up through today.

  • Article 1: Nineteenth Century Trends in American Conservation

    Painting of wilderness landscape with mountains and trees.

    Conservation thinking has evolved over centuries, often as a response to the profound land use changes that shaped the American landscape after the arrival of European colonists in the 1600s. Since that time, deforestation, urbanization, and industrialization all produced profound environmental changes that spurred conservation ideas and practices. Read more

  • Article 2: American Conservation in the Twentieth Century

    Photo of a yellow bird.

    At the national level, environmental historians have identified three major historic strands of conservation thinking and action that have provided historic foundations for the contemporary environmental movement. Read more

  • Article 3: Conservation and Landscape Planning in Massachusetts

    Green grass and trees in autumn.

    The story of the National Conservation Movement intersects with the Massachusetts conservation story at several places. Much of the national story focused on preservation of large wilderness tracts of land at distant locations—usually unincorporated land in the public domain. Read more