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MASHPEE LAND STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM A cooperative Open Space Lands stewardship program connecting regional citizen volunteers and land owners.

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Presentation on theme: "MASHPEE LAND STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM A cooperative Open Space Lands stewardship program connecting regional citizen volunteers and land owners."— Presentation transcript:

1 MASHPEE LAND STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM A cooperative Open Space Lands stewardship program connecting regional citizen volunteers and land owners

2 Getting Started: Welcome to the Mashpee Land Stewardship Program! Sign in sheet (name, mailing address, e-mail, phone, active or passive volunteer status, parcel choice) Hat or T-shirt Positive attitude Welcome packet Land Stewardship Manual Invasive species guide Track stick sign out form/instructions Friends of the Refuge brochure Town Parcel map Transfer Station brochure

3 Land Stewards role: The primary responsibility of the land steward is caretaking, to be a presence on the land. The steward should monitor the land regularly, assist to keep trails cleared, and support clean-up efforts when necessary. Activities accomplished under this role are reported to the Conservation Department (Concom). This position requires a regular time commitment from the volunteer.

4 Passive and Specialized Volunteers: Passive volunteerism involves observing and reporting of parcel condition, light trash pick up (solo or as part of an organized cleanup) and trail mapping (if needed). Passive volunteers are expected to walk their parcels at least 4 times per year. Specialized volunteerism involves a willingness to work on various projects ranging from herring run monitoring, trail building and mapping, light construction, invasive species/nuisance vegetation removal, parcel clean ups, etc Any volunteers with specialized skills (e.g. wood working, carpentry, GIS, mapping, grant applications, landscaping, construction, plant identification, etc) are highly encouraged lend their skills to any number of volunteer projects.

5 Stewardship Activities : Walk assigned parcel at least 4 times per year Note how property is being used Notice any erosion issues Note any safety hazards Make note of any vandalism Note location of any invasive plant species Pick up small sized volume litter (bottles, cans, bags, etc) Be sure to take all the proper precautions when walking through the woods (ticks, bees, poison ivy, etc)

6 What to look for and record Clues that suggest change (e.g. new roads, worn tire paths, piles of brush or debris, cut and/or downed trees, trash, changes in vegetation, cleared land Ask questions about any changes from neighbors or walkers you meet Look for special features, invasive species, unusual plant life, evidence of wildlife, terrain changes Observe trail usage and conditions Observe signage. Make note of areas that may need signage, trail markers, etc

7 What not to do: Enter into confrontational situations with others harming the property and/or performing illegal activities Perform maintenance activities using power tools (check with Conservation Dept first) Construct new trails without approval from conservation dept. Introduce new plantings without approval from dept. Introduce new signage without approval from dept Use chemical applications (herbicides, etc) on conservation lands without prior approval from dept. Cut or remove vegetation without prior approval from dept.

8 Tom Fudala or other representative from the Friends of the MNWR Group to explain their mission, recruit more members

9 Procedures for reporting Illegal dumping : Any illegal dumping should be reported immediately to the Mashpee Poilce Dept., Mashpee Conservation Dept. and the MA Environmental Police Dept If a volunteer happens to see dumping in progress, try to make note of the vehicle description, plate # and contents as well as the time/date and location of the violation. Stewards are encouraged to remove trash if they have the means to do so. For those stewards who wish to remove large volumes of trash/debris from a parcel, a voucher for the Mashpee Transfer station will be provided to the steward. Certain items may not be accepted at the Mashpee Transfer Station and thus may require disposal at the Bourne landfill. If a steward finds needles, syringes or other items that represent a significant safety hazard, note the location of these items & notify the police dept as soon as possible

10 Introduce EPO Officer Kevin L. Clayton For presentation on reporting illegal dumping protocols

11 ATV/ORV Usage Mashpee Conservation Land By-law (Ch. 173) prohibits the usage of ATVs, motorized bikes and any other form of off road vehicles on the towns conservation lands and town owned open space. Vehicles (cars & trucks) are allowed to drive on some of the towns ancient roadways that transect through conservation lands ( e.g. Great Hay Rd) Stewards should document, as accurately as possible, any locations of physical damage created by ATV/ORV usage. Make note of whether or not the incursions appear to be continuous or random. While it is difficult to control and/or enforce ATV/ORV usage on town owned lands, the more we can improve our parcels and promote responsible usage, the less likelihood of illegal activities.

12 Reporting consistency & Liability Try to be consistent with parcel name and address/location when reporting violations to the Mashpee Police/ Conservation Dept and EPOs. This will help the authorities to better track areas where illegal activities may be concentrated. Accurate records can help to produce year end statistics on problem areas. This will help to direct management priorities on town conservation land and open space parcels. LIABILITY All Land Steward activities are considered individual volunteerism and no liability insurance exists for participants in the program. All participants are expected to exercise reasonable care and take precautions to protect themselves from harmful events.

13 Kelsey Boyd (Americorps) to give live demonstration on How to navigate the Land Stewardship web page/ show example of Mashpee River Woodlands trail map. Go over observation form/ sign up form, track sticks info and plans for future mapping of all trails on Mashpee Conservation lands.

14 Volunteer projects & activities Herring run monitoring program (APCC- mid April- end of June) Herring run volunteers. Trail work: Mashpee River Woodlands (vegetation clearing, trail marking, signage) Mashpee River herring run (vegetation clearance, signage improvements Trail mapping (Johns Pond CA, Pickerel Cove, Jehu Pond, Santuit Pond Preserve, Santuit River CA, Besse Bog) Trail creation (Pickerel Cove, Amos Pond Trail link to Noisy Hole Rd, Besse bog, Garner Farley bog) Parcel clean up days/ parcel beautification projects

15 New England Cottontail Habitat Management work: Mashpee Pine Barrens Multi-agency/landowner partnership project to create suitable habitat for the New England Cottontail. A species of threatened status on the verge of listing for the endangered species list Project involves re-creation of early succession habitat (dense thicket) that is highly desired habitat for NEC and other species of special concern Project involves mechanical thinning of pitch pine and scrub oak habitats Project may involve limited prescribed burning Partners include US FWS, Mass Fish and Wildlife, Mashpee Conservation Dept, The Nature Conservancy, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and other private landowners

16 Closing thoughts and thank you Answer any questions Thank you for volunteering! Conservation/stewards

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