With 11 towns signed up, the controversial Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership can move off the starting blocks.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports advocates envision hope for hard-pressed towns. But critics see a patient effort, aided by the U.S. Forest Service, to unlock access to privately owned tracts in a region that's 82 percent woods.

Public concerns led proponents to revise legislation that passed a year ago, backing off interest in running a biomass facility.

Today, efforts to aid forestry remain.

The 2018 law required at least 11 of 21 communities in Berkshire and Franklin counties to agree to take part. That 11th vote came June 10, a milestone celebrated Tuesday with cake when an advisory group met at Berkshire East ski resort in Charlemont.

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