Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Mission: BEAT’s mission is to protect the environment for wildlife in support of the natural world that sustains us all. BEAT involves volunteers in citizen-science wildlife monitoring programs, Stream Continuity Surveying, Turtle Watch, Salamander Watch, and Vernal Pool Certifying. BEAT maintains an educational website - http://www.thebeatnews.org - where people can learn more about the environmental laws, BEAT activities, issues, and events, and how they can participate in protecting the environment.
Results: BEAT publishes a free, weekly e-newsletter with environmental news, calendar, and public notices. Hundreds of volunteers actively working to protect the environment! Miles of river cleaned. Riverside conservation land protected from being turned into a parking lot. Riverside waste transfer station stopped. Stream crossings surveyed and evaluated to prioritize for replacement to help fish move upstream under roads.
Target demographics: the environment & wildlife
Geographic areas served: the Berkshires
Programs: Being an environmental watchdog - keeping the environmental community connected and informed - promoting environmental stewardship with river cleanups, monitoring wildlife habitat, and working to help wildlife cross roads where it is most critical.
I have worked w/ BEAT for at least 7 year, most of that doing mammal surveys. BEAT sponsors training through another nonprofit (Keeping Track) so that citizen scientists (me for one) have the expertise to monitor areas for different mammals based on tracks and signs the animals leave. This work fits in nicely with BEATS environmental work. Different teams set up transects and walk them 4 times a year. The tracks/signs are documented and the paper documentation filed at BEAT. This info helps support conservation of land. Recently we have worked in conjunction w/ Berkshire Natural Resources which purchases land and conservation easement. Being able to present landowners with a more detailed picture of what is happening on their property can help to tip the balance toward land conservation. Jane Winn/BEAT also teaches vernal pool monitoring which is another important way to identify areas to conserve. Salamander and frog reproduction is critical to chain of nature. Finally, I have also helped w/ Steam crossing documentation- movement of animals, amphibians in particular can be disrupted by road culverts which block movement Jane and Bruce are tireless in their work for the environment. My one constructive message which I have given to Jane on other occasions is to ask for money- not as much as the national environmental organizations but more than once a year.