The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a non-profit group on Nantucket Island (30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod!). NCF was founded in 1963 and started out acquiring land and open space to protect it from development. We currently own over 9,000 acres of conservation lands on the island.
The mission of the Foundation is to assist in the preservation of Nantucket’s character by permanently conserving, maintaining, and managing natural areas and habitats and to encourage an appreciation of and interest in the Island’s natural resources.
The Science and Stewardship Department of NCF has a full time staff of 4 ecologists and our job is to help direct the management of natural areas in an ecologically sound way. As part of the directive from our Board of Trustees, we are actively involved in researching and writing Property Conservation Management Plans for each of our larger properties. Within these plans we focus on the management and research needs of our different properties, studying how our management protects and promotes rare species and habitats.
Nantucket is a unique place with a strong history of human impacts. Many of the rare species and unique habitats on this island are a direct result of human driven disturbance events. A majority of our research projects are looking at the affects of disturbance management (like prescribed fire, sheep grazing, mowing, etc) on plant communities, rare plants and rare animals. The results of our research projects help inform how and when we manage our different properties and different habitats.
Through this blog, we hope to share our experiences as Ecologists and Conservationists on Nantucket and to share what we are doing on the Island to conserve and restore unique properties!