Setting up to permanently steward new conservation land

John Coolidge, Conservation Restriction Stewardship Specialist

Good conservation restriction (CR) stewardship starts with good baseline documentation.  We try not to do our documentation work in the rain… but there are times when it’s just plain impossible to avoid.  Last week was one of those times because we’ve nearly completed an important project in Sharon involving conservation land owned by the Town and the new protection of land owned by the Massapoag Sportsmen’s Club.  Our goal is to complete all the baseline work prior to the CR being signed by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and recorded at the Registry of Deeds.

Of primary importance to the CR, and our ongoing stewardship of it, is documenting the existing condition of the property at the time of the recording.  Identifying the boundaries of the property, locating the survey monuments, and making a record of the type of terrain both with pictures and written descriptions helps in the yearly monitoring both for the landowner or future landowners as well as those that will monitor the CR. Locating the lot corners is critical to the accuracy of our shape files (the basic outline of the property).

At the Sportsman’s Club soon-to-be-protected land, the local surveyor and the conservation administrator for the town were very helpful in finding all the monuments.   Below, Bob Ford and Lindsey Sarquilla confirm that a boundary location is correctly aligned with a beautiful old stone wall assisted by Conservation Administer Gregory Meister from the Sharon Conservation Commission.

BF directing BL