“There is a pleasure in
the pathless woods; There is a rapture
on the lonely shore; There is society,
where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roars: I love not man the less, but Nature more...”
A fundamental part of any stewardship program is a report on the conditions of a property at the time of acquisition. Such reports are like site-specific resource inventories and should include a survey map, aerial photography, and descriptions of the environmental features of the parcel like wetlands, forests, soils, geology, water resources and wildlife habitat. Some of these descriptions will be common to all properties while others will be added or dropped depending on the character of the land.
An important part of the baseline documentation report is a determination of conservation values to be protected. Conservation values are those specific features and natural process functions present on the parcel that are of concern. For example, a parcel that contains habitat suitable for the wood turtle, a threatened species in New Jersey, would require that stewardship actions respect and enhance this habitat. Because some stewardship activities like forest restoration require many years and often decades to complete, an accurate picture of the beginning conditions is essential for future decision making. As an easement holder, the municipality will need to make periodic inspections and comparisons to the original and previous conditions. The base line study provides the means to make these comparisons.
BRE have provided many Land Trusts and Conservation Organizations with BDR’s throughout the state. We have become efficient and cost effective in BDR and would welcome the opportunity to provide you with a free consultation and proposal for your project.