Land conservation organizations use the term "stewardship" when describing their care for the land. Stewardship is a major part of WLC's commitment and responsibility to the landowners who convey conservation easements to us and for the management of the lands we own.
In creating an easement with a landowner, we agree to ensure that the terms of the agreement are followed by all present and future landowners. We carry out this responsibility by regularly monitoring the property for compliance with the terms of the easement. We consider the landowners who grant us easements to be our partners in caring for the land and invite them to engage with us about their intentions for properties - whether big or small. Our goal is to avoid violations before they occur. We ask landowners to join us when we visit to perform our monitoring and we report back to the landowner on what we found, including any suggestions for meeting the terms of the easement. In our experience, easement violations are rare. However, we stand ready to legally defend conservation easements if needed.
Stewardship involves taking care of our own lands as well. As landowners, we maintain our properties in accordance with the long-term management goals we set for each parcel. Some of our lands are designed for public access, like Sloan Gorge Preserve and as a result require continuous care. Other lands remain mostly undisturbed and are managed so that we intrude minimally on wildlife.
Taking care of our lands is a big job. We'd love your help! If working outside amidst the forests and meadows interests you, we invite you to join us in caring for them. Click here to learn more about becoming a stewardship volunteer.