Stewarding in Perpetuity
The Stewardship Program of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust works with landowners, volunteers, community organizations and other entities to ensure the conservation values of protected properties are maintained and protected forever.
The cornerstone of land protection on Bainbridge Island is the conservation easement and currently BILT holds 50 conservation easements (45 private & 5 public) with landowners, protecting over 700 acres.
When a landowner voluntarily decides to protect property with wetlands, bird and wildlife habitat, forest, near shore, tidelands, streams, open space and other conservation values, not only do they protect the place they are personally connected to, but they provide all of us with the extraordinary gift of protected lands on Bainbridge Island . . . forever.
The Land Trust, in accepting this gift from a landowner, is responsible for ensuring the conservation values of these properties are maintained, in perpetuity, in accordance with the easement agreement we have with each landowner and as required by the Internal Revenue Service. Through the Stewardship Program and general operations, Land Trust staff and trained volunteers work to uphold this responsibility. We also have management plans for all our fee owned properties and monitor and steward these on a regular basis to retain or improve their conservation values.
Some ways we work:
One way we work to protect properties is to conduct annual monitoring stewardship visits to each easement property. This important annual visit provides an opportunity for staff and trained volunteers to connect with the conservation easement landowners, talk with them about any changes that have occurred on the property, document those changes, and record them for future reference. All annual monitoring reports are maintained at the BILT office.