Stewardship & Land Management
What is land stewardship?
“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” ― Wendell Berry
“Our job is to sharpen our tools and make them cut the right way… the sole measure of our success is the effect which they have on the forest.” ― Aldo Leopold
Stewardship is an active process of managing land to direct it toward (or keep it at) a desired state. Because natural processes in the region have been and continue to be significantly altered by human activity, natural lands left to themselves will—in most cases—become degraded and dysfunctional. It is not good enough to let natural lands go. Stewardship goals must be defined based on the individual properties and an understanding of the existing landscape, disturbance history, and various issues and opportunities associated with each site. This is critical to sustaining healthy ecosystems for water quality and wildlife habitat. Generally, these management practices and techniques are employed both on our preserves and regionally:
- Decrease deer abundance
- Monitor and control invasive species
- Establish and sustain native meadows
- Design and maintain low-impact trails and enforce their proper use
- Reduce forest fragmentation, particularly in riparian corridors and near wetlands and vernal pools
- Monitor forest pests and mitigate their impacts on forest health
- Plant and protect native trees, shrubs and wildflowers
Under the guidance of a written land management plan, our organization stewards nearly 1,000 acres of land owned by the Mianus River Gorge, Inc. and the Nature Conservancy.
Along with stewarding the lands owned and managed by the Mianus River Gorge, Inc., our staff also monitor conservation easements within the watershed.