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Caring for Maine's Coast and Islands

Once a property is conserved, the responsibility for careful stewardship extends forever. MCHT holds more than 150 conservation easements, monitoring these lands annually to help sustain their natural values.

In addition, the Trust owns and manages more than 50 preserves. On its preserves, MCHT relies on help from local volunteer stewards who assist in monitoring use, maintaining trails and guiding management decisions. After acquiring a property, the Trust typically conducts cultural and natural resource inventories to assess the land's historical and ecological characteristics and to identify significant species and community types. This information helps to guide long term management planning for each preserve.

The following stewardship philosophy was developed by the Board's Stewardship Policy Committee and adopted by the Board (11/99):

"Stewardship is the on-going, long term component of land protection. Its implementation will reflect on MCHT's ability to protect land in the future. MCHT will strive to practice exemplary stewardship of its lands, always protecting ecological values and when appropriate and feasible, providing compatible human uses. Important components of our stewardship will include development of a local land ethic, community involvement, and a focus on the quality of each visitor's experience of our preserves."

On all its preserves, the Trust is committed to protecting the land's ecological health while providing the public with opportunities for low-impact, daytime uses such as hiking, picnicking, and nature observation where appropriate.

Some of MCHT's preserves are seabird or eagle nesting sites. At these properties, public use may be restricted during the nesting season, which varies by species. In general, MCHT lands are open to hunting, and low impact camping is allowed on several islands.

Please contact MCHT if you have questions before visiting one of our preserves.

Eastern Maine Office