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Land Stewardship Award from Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions for Pine Barrens activist

Award highlights Sheehan’s lifelong commitment to land and water protection, social justice and Indigenous people

Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) has awarded Meg Sheehan, volunteer with Save the Pine Barrens, its “Environmental Service Award” for Land Stewardship. MACC will present the award at its virtually held Annual Environmental Conference on Thursday March 3, 2022 from 6 to 7:30 and is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is Larry Spotted Crow Mann, an award-winning writer and Native American cultural educator of the Nipmuc Tribe. For more details on this event and to register, click here.

The Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe of Plymouth MA nominated Sheehan for her work supporting “diversity, equity and inclusion in the conservation space,” said Herring Pond President Melissa Ferretti. The award cites the work of Sheehan and the Sheehan Family Company with the Tribe, the Native Land Conservancy, and Northeast Wilderness Trust. This work includes multi-year funding for the three groups and land donations of 305 acres of “forever wild” pine barrens forest to Northeast Wilderness Trust and an abutting 32-acres to the Indigenous-led Native Land Conservancy (NLC) all in Kingston. All three projects include multi-year funding for stewardship, capacity building, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) programs by the Tribal groups.

As an environmental lawyer and native of Plymouth, Sheehan has worked on land and water protection campaigns throughout the region for decades – from protecting Cape Cod Bay to the Taunton River. “I feel honored to have worked with the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and Native Land Conservancy. Land conservation that honors the rights and legacy of First Nation people has long been a part of my work. I believe the key to a sustainable planet for future generations lies in the engagement of everyday people – all of us –– not just “environmentalists” in protecting our water, forests, and biodiversity,” Sheehan said. “Southeastern Massachusetts is home to a globally rare ecosystem, the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens. Our forests and waterways are being destroyed at an alarming rate by sand mining, deforestation for industrial solar and unsustainable development. This award represents the hard work and determination of many people including our Indigenous allies throughout the region. We all are making a big difference,” Sheehan said.

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