Our Work

Stewardship: Caring for the Land and Water

What is Stewardship?

For the Peconic Land Trust, Stewardship is the perpetual care of the preserves and conservation easements held by the Trust. These protected properties are a legal and good faith responsibility that continues forever.

All properties are routinely monitored and related records maintained.

Properties donated to the Trust in fee are called Preserves. A management plan is prepared for each of these properties. Some Preserves are passive and need minimal maintenance, while others require extensive measures to control soil erosion, restore wetlands, control public access, etc.

Conservation easements are a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization or municipality that protects the land from development, with the landowner retaining ownership and the rights to sell the property or pass it onto heirs.

Conservation easements are monitored at least annually to detect any changes and to ensure the property is being used in accordance with the terms of the restrictions placed on it.

The commitment to monitor, defend, and enforce the easements is what ensures perpetual protection.

How it Works

Our stewardship staff is available to assist landowners with a variety of land management activities including:

  • Field mowing
  • Planting of cover crops
  • Invasive vegetation removal
  • Landscape restoration
  • Trail creation and maintenance

The Trust can provide environmentally sensitive land care services to landowners – individuals, corporation or municipalities. As a result, interest in the Peconic Land Trust’s Stewardship Program comes from many sources, including:

  • landowners who want to preserve the rural character of their property;
  • landowners who want to protect environmentally sensitive area(s) of their property;
  • landowners who find it difficult to manage their property;
  • corporations holding land as an investment;
  • developers seeking assistance in the management of open space areas within their plans; and
  • Municipalities that own natural areas or development rights but whose management capability is stretched by the maintenance of active recreational areas.

Our experienced staff is available to advise and assist landowners on long-term natural resource management strategies available, including establishing and implementing stewardship objectives that reflect the owner's goals and the unique elements of each property.

Creating a Stewardship Management Program

The Stewardship Management Plan identifies the natural features of the land and states the owner’s long term goals for the property. While the Stewardship Management Plan is comprehensive, it must also be flexible, since the natural features of property may change through time. Issues to be considered could be public access, education or recreation, agricultural uses and timber harvesting, species and ground water protection, for example. Some properties may simply require regular monitoring, while others may require extensive restoration work, and ongoing maintenance. Typically the Plan:

  • addresses the unique natural features of the land,
  • establishes clear objectives and prioritizes goals,
  • addresses particular problems that might appear in the future as a result of surrounding development or invasive species encroachment, for example,
  • outlines an implementation plan and responsibilities, and
  • creates a financial plan for implementation.

Learn more about:

Wildlife Management Program

Green Initiatives

Over the last several years we have taken steps to minimize our carbon footprint by making our offices more efficient and by integrating "green principles" throughout the organization.

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