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Friends Network 2013 Annual Conference
Focus on Friends Agenda Revealed!

Dear Friend,

We are pleased to announce this year's guest speakers for the Friends Network 2013 Annual Conference:

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jack Murray, Strengthening cooperation between DCR and Friends groups

DCR Bureau of Planning and Resource Protection Bureau Chief Joseph R. Orfant, Resource Management Planning (RMP) – How Friends groups can help develop an RMP; Friends groups' roles in protecting natural and cultural resources

DCR Bureau of Ranger Services Acting Chief Ranger Chris Williams, DCR Rangers' Duties and Jurisdiction

YOU! Share your successes and challenges as a volunteer for Massachusetts' forests, parks, beaches and trails. Help identify new initiatives to move our forests and parks forward. You spend many hours volunteering to enhance our parks and it's you we want to feature. Speak up for your favorite forest, park, beach or trail at the Focus on Friends Conference!
  View the Conference Agenda for details on the day's proceedings

√  Send photos (limit 3) of your group's events and activities for the Friends Groups Introductions, Accomplishments and Challenges segment to

√  Register at the Friends Network website.

√   Join your Friends at the 6th Annual Friends Network Conference where we will Focus on Friends!

The Friends Network 6th Annual Conference
Focus on Friends!

Saturday, December 7
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
VFW Post 5594
15 Milford Street
Upton, MA 01568
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Nominations Extended for the Friends Network  DCR Friend of the Year
Ron Clough AwardEach year, the Friends Network honors DCR employees who exhibits exemplary efforts on behalf of forests, parks and Friends or other volunteer groups. Show your appreciation for the DCR person or agency that you think deserves special recognition through your nomination.

Please submit a brief narrative describing any combination of excellence in the following areas:
Work Performance, Judgment, Initiative, Integrity, Support for Friends Groups, Citizen/Community Relations, Other?

All DCR employees are eligible for this award. The nomination deadline has been extended to November 21. Nominees will be recognized at the Friends Network Annual Conference on December 7, 2013.

Please submit nominations using the official Friends Network 2013 DCR Friend of the Year Nomination Form

Photo Above: DCR Ron Clough receives the 2012 DCR Friend of the Year Award.

Ellen Mass AwardNominations Extended for the Friends Network Volunteer of the Year

Each year the Friends Network recognizes volunteers who have benefited State parklands in an extraordinary way. If you know of a volunteer who deserves thanks and recognition for the good work they do on behalf of state parklands, please submit a nomination form. The nomination(s) deadline has been extended to November 21. We have created an online nomination form to streamline the nomination applications.

All volunteers are eligible. Nominees will be recognized at the Friends Network Annual Conference on December 7, 2013.

Friends Network 2013 Volunteer of the Year Nomination Form

Photo Above: Ellen Mass, Friends of the Alewife Reservation, receives 2012 Friend of the Year Award.

DCR Stewardship Council Corner

December 6, 2013, 1 pm - 3 pm: Lawrence Heritage State Park

View the 2013-2014 Stewardship Council Oversight Strategy

The DCR Stewardship Council is a thirteen member citizen board appointed by the Governor to oversee DCR polices and programs.

Members of the public are allowed a few minutes to make comments at each meeting. The Stewardship Council holds its monthly meetings at various parks across the state to encourage public participation.

Take the opportunity to introduce your Friends group to the Stewardship Council when the meeting is held in your area. If you go, please send a brief report to


Review the DCR Draft Volunteer Policy and the Draft Parks & Recreation Rules & Regulations. Attend one of the public meetings in your area where DCR will present both of the drafts at the same meeting!

√  Read the Draft Volunteers in Parks Program Guide.

The document establishes guidelines for extending liability protections to volunteers and nonprofit organizations engaged in activities that support and promote DCR's mission and our parks system.

√  Read the Draft Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations.

  View the Draft Parks and Regulation Rules and Regulations Public Presentation

Adoption of these regulations will consolidate existing regulations of predecessor agencies to DCR and will define and comprehensively regulate parks and recreational facilities, and their use by the public, under DCR's care and control.

√  Attend a public meeting in your area.
DCR staff will present both the Volunteers in Parks Program Guide AND the DCR revised draft of DCR's Volunteers in Parks Program Guide.

  Comment on the draft guidelines. Comments will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013, by emailing Note "Volunteers in Parks Program" or "Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations" in the subject line.

Public Meeting Schedule

Saying Goodbye to Emmitt Francis
by Ellen Arnold

In our [Friends of Upton State Forest] January 2009 newsletter, we introduced DCR Ranger, Captain Jennifer Stowe, and her Search and Rescue dog, Emmitt Francis. Both have special ties to Upton State Forest.

Some of you may remember Jenn from her time training with the mounted unit at Upton State Forest. Emmitt was born in Upton and purchased with assistance from a local fundraiser through Nipmuc Rod and Gun Club. He was named after an Upton man, Francis Wollaston who was known for his conservation efforts. Emmitt trained at Upton and it was a treat to see him on the trails.

Today [November 4] we learned the sad news that Emmitt lost his ten month battle with cancer. We will miss him and our sympathy goes out to Captain Stowe for his loss. RIP Emmitt Francis.

Read how Emmitt Francis became a Search and Rescue Dog in the January 2009 FUSF Newsletter.

Networking Friends

Arborway Coalition

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Cochituate State Park Advisory Committee

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

Grand Trunk Trail Blazers

Green Futures

Mass Audubon

Mt. Tom Citizens Advocacy Committee

New England Mountain Bike Association

Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance

Friends of:

Alewife Reservation

Blue Hills Reservation

Boston Harbor Islands

Buckland State Forest

Dighton Rock Museum

Douglas, Howe Park and Spencer State Forest

Fall River Freetown State Forest

Hawksnest State Park

Harold Parker State Park

Lynn Woods

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Mohawk Trail State Forest

Myles Standish State Forest

Mystic River

Nickerson State Park

Quabbin and Ware River

Robinson State Park

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.

Scusset Beach Reservation, Inc.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest

Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT)

Springside Park

Upton State Forest

Wachusetts Mountain

Waquoit Bay Reserve

Western Greenway

Willard Brook

Wompatuck State Park

If your group is not on this list and should be, send and email to

Help Distribute The Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Handbook

The Mass Environmental Police (MEP) has produced an excellent booklet, The Handbook of Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Laws and Safe Operating Procedures for OHVs.

Hard copies of the Handbook are available for distribution by contacting OHV.SafetyCourse@Massmail.State.MA.US. Please help the MEP distribute the Handbooks. Thanks for your help!

Join Friends group leader Michael Toomey on LinkedIn for discussions relevant to Friends groups: Mass State Forests & Parks
Friends Network


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Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network
P.O. Box 1199
Plymouth, Massachusetts 02362