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Landscape Conservation

As a guardian of our region’s unique natural heritage, the Landscape Conservation Program works to protect ecologically important lands, waters, and wilderness for the benefit of nature and people. Our conservation projects maximize by design the protection of the plants, animals, communities, and natural systems—common and uncommon—that characterize the diversity of life spanning our four-ecoregion territory.

Mount Monadnock in snowBecause the vast majority of land in our region is privately owned, we believe that private solutions to the loss of wilderness are essential. We work with private landowners to protect their land in many creative ways: with working forest and forever wild conservation restrictions, by taking ownership and managing land as multi-use resources or natural area reserves, and by providing services and locating funding sources to enable transfers of land to public ownership.

Wood Frog Egg MassesOur project design process is based in rigorous conservation science. We analyze large-extent habitat data and integrate field-verified species and natural community observations to identify land areas with high levels of overlapping biodiversity value. Our 5-Year strategic plan identifies biodiversity “hot spots” around which we selectively plan multi-landowner conservation projects.

The Landscape Conservation Program uses funding sources like United States Forest Service Forest Legacy Program and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Landscape Partnership Grants because they are structured to complement a multi-landowner approach to conservation.

For more stories about Mount Grace's landscape conservation work see:

Landscape Conservation: Forever Wild in Northfield

Landscape Conservation: Quabbin to Wachusett

Landscape Conservation: Northfield Mount Hermon Conserves Trail

For a list of our largest multi-landowner projects, and a recent article on our landscape scale conservation partnerships from the Land Trust Alliance's Saving Land Magazine, see the pdfs below.