Presentation on theme: "Mashpee Land Stewards Program. Goals of the Mashpee Conservation Department To protect our water resources, plant and wildlife habitat and to preserve."— Presentation transcript:
Mashpee Land Stewards Program
Goals of the Mashpee Conservation Department To protect our water resources, plant and wildlife habitat and to preserve some of the Cape’s natural beauty To protect and maintain lands set aside for the public’s enjoyment and recreation To increase public support for conservation lands To maintain, upgrade and/or construct conservation land appurtenances (steps, walkways, signage, trails, etc)
Goals of the Stewardship Program Assess current conditions of Mashpee Conservation Lands & Open Space Parcels Increase and/or implement signage where needed Organize Community Clean-up days Improve Trails, create new trails and associated maps
Land Steward Coordinator’s Role Maintain Steward vs. assigned area list Facilitate steward activities and recognition Interface between stewards and property owners Coordinate with agencies providing volunteers Document program status annually Assist in organizing annual clean-ups
Monitoring Guidelines Walk parcels at least 4 X per year Note how property is being used Document any erosion problems Check for encroachment Maintain Trails
Monitoring Guidelines (con’t): Hand-prune vegetation encroaching trails Keep signs visible and make note of any vandalism Pick up small size/volume litter Note location of any invasive plant species Be sure to take all proper precautions when walking through the woods (ticks, bees, poison ivy, etc)
What NOT to do Perform maintenance using power tools Construct new trails without Conservation Dept. approval Enter into confrontational situations with others harming the property and/or performing illegal activities Introduce new plantings without Conservation Dept. approval Introduce new signage without Conservation Dept. approval
Procedures for reporting illegal activities ILLEGAL DUMPING Items such as mattresses, car parts, furniture and large piles of trash that cannot be removed by the steward should be reported to the Conservation Dept for follow up. If a party is caught in the act, give a description of the vehicle and the person or persons dumping the trash to the Conservation Dept and/or Mashpee Police
Reporting ATV usage All Terrain Vehicles are prohibited on town land. Experience has shown that gates/boulders are not effective in keeping ATVs out of open space lands. The stewards should document, as accurately as possible, locations of physical damage, if the incursions appear to be continuous and any other info that could lead to the identification of the operators).
Land Evaluations/Criterion On foot inspection of the property and boundaries Set up evaluation form online for easy download. Maintain excel database for tracking conservation land needs
What to Look for and Record Clues that suggest change (e.g. new roads, worn tire paths, piles of brush, etc) Ask questions about changes from neighbors or walkers you meet Walk boundaries to check for encroachment Look for special features, invasive species, evidence of wildlife & terrain changes Observe trail usage and conditions Observe signage, especially along boundaries
Liability All land Steward activities are considered individual “Volunteerism” and no liability insurance exists for participants in the program. All individuals are expected to exercise reasonable care and take precautions to protect themselves from harmful events.
Consistency Please be consistent with parcel name and address you give to Conservation Agent, Mashpee Police and/or EPOs. If the name and address are consistent, the police can better track areas where illegal activities are concentrated. Accurate records can help to produce year end statistics on problem areas. This will help direct management priorities on town conservation lands and open space parcels
THANK YOU! With your help, we can address issues in our conservation and open space parcels with greater efficiency, effectiveness and organization By creating a presence out there, we hope to curb and/or eliminate many of the problems that currently plague our open space parcels Spread the word!!