Land Protected – Now What?
Each new land protection project generates a rush of joy and excitement. However, after the initial furor fades, the task of ensuring that conserved land remains permanently protected shifts to the shoulders of SAHC’s devoted stewardship crew. Perhaps the least understood aspect of our work, yet an integral component of the “forever” commitment to conservation, SAHC’s Stewardship Program is responsible for ongoing communication with landowners, annual monitoring of conserved land, defense against violations — and much more. Here’s what it takes to accomplish that commitment.
The Stewardship aspect of SAHC’s work centers on the perpetual care and protection of land and water. This entails everything from walking the property to keeping detailed documentation of changes over time and building relationships with landowners. Holistically, the “Stew Crew” is charged with the health of the living systems that surround us — ensuring that the waters remain pure and flowing, that natural communities flourish and invasive threats are removed, and that the people who live on and use the land understand the terms of conservation easements, which aim to protect “conservation values” that benefit the region and world at large. Of the more than 80,000 acres that SAHC has protected since 1974, we are responsible for stewarding over 54,000 acres of conservation easements and preserves. SAHC follows accreditation requirements and Land Trust Alliance standards and practices in accomplishing this work. Read more