Stewardship

Indian Point clean up. Photo credit Eileen Hall.Once land is conserved, either through purchase or conservation easement, it becomes the responsibility of Frenchman Bay Conservancy to care for the land in perpetuity. Frenchman Bay Conservancy currently holds 26 easements and owns 30 preserves totally nearly 7,000 acres of land. All easements require annual monitoring to ensure the resources of the land are properly conserved. All preserves also require annual monitoring, as well as on-going maintenance of trails, access to preserves for use and enjoyment by the public, and protection of ecological health. See FBC’s trails management handbook for more information.

More than one third of Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s preserves and easements are within Beginning with Habitat Focus Areas – natural areas of statewide significance that contain unusually rich concentrations of at-risk species and habitats. Eighteen of FBC’s properties are within the Taunton Bay, Tunk Lake, Gouldsboro Grand Marsh, and Upper Union River Focus Areas. Taunton Bay contains vast tidal estuaries which are critical in making the Gulf of Maine one of the most productive water bodies in the world. The Tunk Lake area provides large tracts of protected land that provide valuable habitat and serve as a popular recreation destination. The Gouldsboro Grand Marsh provides wintering grounds for the state threatened harlequin duck and is an outstanding example of the Coastal Plateau Bog ecosystem. The vast majority of the Upper Union River remains free-flowing with a largely undeveloped riparian area. The Upper Union River is of particular note as providing high-quality spawning and rearing habitat for Atlantic Salmon. FBC preserves situated outside of statewide focus areas also provide habitat for inland waterfowl and wading birds, shorebirds, deer winter areas, and other natural communities.

Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s stewardship program is volunteer-based. Annually, the stewardship needs of preserves are reviewed and prioritized and stewardship work days are assigned accordingly.   FBC holds weekly volunteer days throughout the field season as well as preserve specific stewardship events on other days. Volunteers of all ages and ability levels are welcome at stewardship work days.