Natural Areas/Conservation Land Stewardship

LSI seeks long-term relationships with natural areas that go beyond a single contract relationship. We want to help you as a land manager, stewardship committee or land trust go further with your land management objectives. Here’s how we can help:

Land Management

We help design and implement plans and strategies to manage and protect conservation lands from illegal or unauthorized activities which may include dumping, encroachment, hunting, trespass, forest cutting, and ATV use. Services include regular patrol by foot and/or ATV, sign placement and maintenance, fence/boundary maintenance. We can help you uphold the terms and integrity of your conservation restriction or natural area.

Prescribed Fire

Some natural communities need periodic fire as a way to renew themselves. Fire in some communities is a natural process and without burning these areas build up woody debris that can be very dangerous if/when a wildfire does get started. We have teamed up with a licensed burn boss to offer small-scale prescribed burning services in support of projects that would benefit from it. Examples include wildflower meadows, some grasslands such as sandplain grasslands, heathlands, pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, and calcareous fens. In most cases we will begin a project with mechanical clearing in order to make it possible to control a burn under optimal conditions. All prescribed burns require the preparation and submittal of a Burn Plan to state authorities. For more information about prescribed burning click here.

Conservation Grazing

We use cows, goats and sheep on the landscape to maintain early-successional open habitats, manage habitat for vulnerable wildlife species (turtles and grassland birds), and manage an assortment of invasive plants.

Trail Planning, Building & Maintenance

We can design, build, and/or maintain trail networks that minimize impacts and erosion while providing visitors with a safe and awe-inspiring visit.

Community-Based Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Acivities

We help organize, facilitate, and build community relationships with local conservation lands and natural areas through active stewardship projects such as invasive plant control, revegetation, plant salvage, seed collection, developing  project scale native plant nurseries, streambank stabilization and land management. We can also facilitate and train volunteers/citizen scientists to undertake the ecological monitoring responsibilities of their conservation lands.

Kiosk Construction & Sign, Map, Information Development

A well made kiosk featuring local wood with well articulated information/interpretation shows the worth of a natural area to visitors and the community. We can work with organizations to create an attractive display and trail maps.

Planning is essential and usually consists of preparing the following documents:

  • a natural resources inventory (NRI) with live maps compiled in Google Earth or GIS
  • a natural areas management plan
  • a historical aerial photo archive to understand recent landscape changes
  • monitoring for Conservation Restrictions (CR) and Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APR)
  • baseline Documentation/Monitoring fieldwork and report preparation

Annual monitoring visits and report preparation

We follow protocols from the MassAudubon’s Massachusetts Conservation Restriction Stewardship Manual.

Baseline and Annual Monitoring is a legal requirement for CR & APR properties. We have adapted and simplified the official model for conservation lands and natural areas in order to facilitate monitoring by volunteers. The more eyes you have looking out for a property the better!