The Stewardship Program embodies our perpetual commitment to the lands we protect. The Mount Grace Stewardship Program works with a dedicated volunteer network of natural resource professionals and committed citizens to demonstrate how effective conservation requires a balance between land protection and stewardship. We employ practices and techniques on our land that are based on science and time-tested approaches from the fields of forestry, conservation biology and agriculture that demonstrate for the public and other conservation organizations how active and responsible stewardship can provide long-term environmental and economic rewards. The Stewardship Program also helps landowners with conservation restrictions to employ sustainable stewardship practices and handle land management challenges.
The program incorporates two primary functions- conservation restriction oversight and conservation area management. Together they work to show how active and responsible stewardship can provide long-term environmental and economic rewards.
Conservation Restriction Oversight
Oversight includes baseline documentation to describe each property’s history, conservation values and resources, annual monitoring to ensure that the conservation values of the land are being protected forever, and landowner assistance to help owners of conserved properties find sustainable solutions to land management challenges.
Conservation Area Management
Conservation areas are lands Mount Grace owns. Our 1,400 acres of land are open to the public for free for non-motorized recreational uses including hiking, nature study, and hunting (some donor based restrictions apply).
Mount Grace’s status as a landowner and property taxpayer gives us credibility with other landowners when discussing land conservation and land stewardship options.
Management components include: ecological planning, in which each property is inventoried for plant communities and wildlife (especially rare and threatened species) to develop a long term stewardship plan and is monitored to ensure its resources are protected; ecological restoration, which aims to identify and restore degraded ecosystems and critical habitat for rare and declining species; and sustainable forest management, in which our Stewardship Biologist works with a licensed consulting forester to develop long term forest stewardship plans that integrate biodiversity conservation with the sustainable harvest of forest products from our working forests.
If you have questions about the Mount Grace Stewardship Program, please contact Stewardship Director Jay Rasku at 978-248-2055 x12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories about Mount Grace's stewardship work see:
To learn about being a Property Monitor or Trail Volunteer, click here.
Or read a pdf of Stewardship Biologist Tom Wansleben's article The Working Forest and Hunters, a Symbiotic Relationship from the MassWildlife Newsletter.