Eco-logical Private Land Management
The Nature Steward offers integrated and adaptive management planning to bring out the true nature of your property. Whether its forest or field, streams or wetland, or a diverse combination, The Nature Steward can restore the patterns and processes that create healthy and productive ecosystems. An initial assessment of the property will determine the current condition of the site and provide a general list of available stewardship options. The Nature Steward can then develop the Management Plan that expresses the overall goals and objectives of the Land Owner. From there an action plan will be created that directly connects the current conditions with future targets. Evaluation and routine monitoring of progress throughout the operation is provided and is essential to the long term success of the project.
Services provided by The Nature Steward
Invasive plant species are introduced into an environment, either by accident or design, and have attributes that give them an advantage over other plant species. They can grow and reproduce faster or earlier, they may not have natural predators, they may even poison the ground to prevent competition from other plants. Eventually they can take over the site and suppress a naturally diverse ecosystem. This leads to a lack of habitat for plant and animal species that are essential to environmental processes.
The Nature Steward utilizes the life cycle of the invasive species against it by using mechanical or chemical means of removal at key points during its growth. By integrating this process with native plant restoration, invasive species removal can be a successful and long term solution.
Pale Swallow-wort Cynanchum rossicum
Native plants provide food, habitat, and protection for birds, insects, amphibians, and many mammals. For centuries these animals have developed a coexistence with the plant life around them. The seasonal succession of blooms and fruits sustain life throughout the year. Introduced plant species may not fit into seasonal timing, making food sources scarce and discouraging habitat use. Native shrubs like Dogwoods and Sumac have structures that protect nests from predators and have fruit that persists through the winter. Invasive shrubs are nutrient poor and provide predators easy access to eggs or hatchlings. A diversity of native species promotes the well-being and sustainability of the natural area.
The Nature Steward tests the soils and light intensity throughout the property to select an appropriate diversity of native plants. Special protective measures are taken to ensure the survival of new transplants and seeded areas. Our careful monitoring of the site and seasonal maintenance will ensure the success of the Native Plant Restoration.
Butterfly weed Asclepias tuberosa
Timber stands are long term investments. When the time comes for harvest you want to be able to get the most value out the existing commodity. A timber stand improvement removes competition providing a greater availability of resources like light, water, and soil nutrients for healthy growth and increased production. The Nature Steward protects your investment by carefully selecting trees for longevity, market value, and reproductive quality.
Ecological considerations are also taken into account such as providing dead snags for habitat and leaving the proper amount of tree top debris to protect seedlings and add to soil nutrients. Abandoned logging skids can be converted to small wetland areas, protecting soils from erosion and providing habitat to organisms that are crucial to future soil development and seed dispersal. The Nature Steward not only invests in the value of the current timber but also in the value of the land to produce quality timber for the future.
Viruses, Bugs, and fungus are ever-present in the environment. Many are part of the natural balance but often they can be destructive and may create dangers on your private land. Fungus growing throughout a tree can be inconspicuous until a branch falls off or the whole tree falls. Bugs that burrow through hardwoods can drastically reduce the timber value of your stand. If left untreated the effects of disease and pests can be sudden and devastating.
The Nature Steward uses intense scouting efforts to identify threats at an early stage. We then implement a system of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control the affliction and reduce its spread. Sometimes this includes chemical treatments, mechanical removal of host species, or soil remediation. Many times simply improving the health of the ecosystem can give the plants the strength they need to combat the disease or pests naturally.
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
The Nature Steward offers a large selection of Environmental Consulting services to help support your conservation efforts. Our Mission is to provide practical and "Eco-Logical" solutions to private land management.
Besides a beautiful and healthy property there are also many financial benefits to performing environmental improvements on your private land. Tax deductions and tax credits are available through the IRS. Also, there are other government agencies that provide annual cash settlements for habitat improvement and soil and water conservation efforts.