BRC’s stewardship responsibility begins when we accept a conservation easement or acquire a piece of land. BRC’s obligation to ensure the permanent protection of each property’s conservation values forms the backbone of our stewardship program. BRC’s Stewardship Program consists of annual property monitoring and land management.
Annual Property Monitoring
BRC has a legal responsibility to steward all of our conservation properties – forever.
BRC’s stewardship staff annually visits each conservation easement property to ensure the terms of the easement are being upheld and that any changes made to the property are in harmony with the easement. Annual monitoring consists of a thorough visit of each property and may include hiking both the boundary and interior while documenting any changes on the property with photographs and GPS waypoints and tracks. Each property, its conservation values, land uses, adjoining land uses, reserved rights and prohibited activities are unique; therefore each monitoring visit is different. For example, a visit to a working farm is very different than a visit to a “forever wild” property. After each visit, the property’s condition is documented for permanent record. Annual monitoring visits also serve to maintain good working relationships with our conservation easement landowners. They provide an opportunity for landowners to inform BRC of any anticipated changes to the land or concerns they may have. This builds positive relationships with landowners and trust in the community we serve.
BRC is also required to annually visit all the properties that we own. These properties are managed according to carefully crafted management plans designed to protect the important natural and cultural features of the property. Visits to conservancy owned lands are focused on ensuring no encroachments have occurred that could harm the conservation values and identifying any needed management activities (i.e. exotic invasive removal, erosion issues, trail improvements, etc.)
BRC works with its conservation easement landowners and on its own properties to conduct land management activities to protect and enhance a property’s conservation values. From implementing Best Management Practices to controlling invasive species, BRC can help its landowners obtain the necessary resources to take care of their land. BRC relies on its partner agencies like the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, NC Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Forest Service to provide conservation easement landowners as well as BRC with technical expertise and other resources related to land management. Some of these agencies provide financial assistance to landowners willing to implement BMPs or enhance wildlife habitat on their property.