Vinalhaven Land Trust works to preserve the beauty and wild character of natural places on Vinalhaven and the many smaller islands in the township. Working together with landowners, the Trust conserves areas of significance by using permanent land protection agreements and by fee ownership.
Landowners interested in protecting wildlife habitat and scenic open space receive conservation guidance from Vinalhaven Land Trust. By donating a conservation easement, property owners may restrict future building and damaging land uses while keeping land in the family. The easement, which applies to all current and future owners, is held and monitored by Vinalhaven Land Trust or another conservation organization.
Some landowners give their property directly to Vinalhaven Land Trust, ensuring that the land will remain forever wild. While the Trust has limited resources, it occasionally does purchase an exceptional property to ensure its protection.
Twelve miles out to sea, with only thin soils covering the underlying granite, the islands that make up the township of Vinalhaven are not merely an extension of the mainland, separated by some water. The ecology of the islands is more "pure" than that on the mainland, with fewer species diversity (and fewer invasives). Only the water that falls from the sky and is captured in the granite fissures is available for supporting life here - there is no river under the ocean that reaches the island.
The work of stewardship, then, is more than maintaining a trail or two - it includes an ever conscious awareness of the fragility of life here, and a responsibility to educate residents and visitors about how we can all care for and protect the habitat and resources that we do have. From barren seabird nesting islands, to pitch pine covered "mountain" tops and the wetland recharge areas in between, our islands are our responsibility to respect and protect.