Land Protection

Monarch ButterflyThroughout its history, the NLC has used a variety of methods for preserving open space.

Initially, one of the ways the NLC was most effective was by conducting extensive title research.  The NLC founders were concerned that a few individuals were converting Sheep Commons title and “owners unknown” land into personal gain.  The NLC took legal action to shield undeveloped land from dubious claims and to protect it for public benefit.  Much of the NLC’s early work was dedicated to securing title through the land court process. Beginning in the 1980s the Land Council began protecting land through the Federal and State Conservation Restriction Program.  The majority of our restrictions were donated by like minded individuals.

Conservation Restriction on Agricultural Land at Bartlett’s Farm

The NLC finalized a Conservation Restriction on 10 acres of agricultural land at Bartlett’s Farm. The conserved parcel abuts 104 acres of farmland that was placed in conservation by the Land Council in 2004. That same year the Loring Campaign was completed to preserve 270 acres of land on Eel Point Road by purchasing Conservation Restrictions. In this process of purchasing Conservation Restrictions, the Land Council negotiates with private owners to voluntarily restrict use of their land and preserve conservation values. These permanent easement agreements — Conservation Restrictions in Massachusetts — provide public benefits to the community and handsome tax advantages to land owners.

Successful completion of the Bartlett’s Farm and Loring Campaigns brings our total Conservation Restriction land to over 1,400 acres. We also hold CRs on numerous smaller, private properties in order to protect natural resources as well as Nantucket’s rural character.  Read more about these conservation success stories or for more information on Conservation Restrictions, please visit our Conservation Restrictions page.

Nantucket Land & Water Council has Preserved Hundreds of Acres of Nantucket Land

Since 1974 the Nantucket Land & Water Council, Inc. has preserved hundreds of acres in the Middle Moors, Plains, Squam and Smooth Hummocks and transferred the land to the Land Bank or Nantucket Conservation Foundation to manage. The NLC was organized specifically to engage in the challenges which sometimes are necessary to defend open space; and, while the NLC takes its ongoing, year-to-year stewardship responsibilities seriously, our long term objective after a property has been protected is to eventually transfer it to another organization for management. This allows the NLC to remain focused on its roles in advocacy, education, research, resource protection, planning and monitoring. For more information on other conservation groups on Nantucket and their various roles and objectives, see our list of conservation partners.