Tuckernuck landowners have a strong commitment as stewards of their land and to preserving the Island's natural heritage. The homes and properties of many have been in their families for generations. As early as the mid-1980's, Tuckernuck landowners observed the initial surge of the building boom on neighboring islands, and its impact on the open landscape. With great foresight and resolve to protect Tuckernuck's significant coastal habitat, many landowners worked with local conservation organizations and placed permanent conservation restrictions on their properties.

Landowner Laura Hussey was instrumental in helping to formalize the residents' commitment to land preservation and establishing support for creating the Tuckernuck Land Trust, who would work closely with local conservation organizations but whose mission would be specific to Tuckernuck Island.

Thus, the Tuckernuck Land Trust was founded in 1996 by landowners and citizens concerned with protecting Tuckernuck Island's rural character and its largely undisturbed coastal plant and animal communities. Tuckernuck is part of Nantucket County, which in the 1990's was one of the fastest growing counties in Massachusetts. Fully aware of the destructive impact development has on natural habitat, the Land Trust's founding members took action to protect Tuckernuck Island's unique ecological attributes.

To stem the tide of increasing development pressure, within its first 3 ½ years the Tuckernuck Land Trust, with its conservation partners, the Nantucket Land Council and The Nature Conservancy, embarked on an ambitious campaign to conserve threatened lands. The effort raised over $2 million and protected approximately 100 acres of open land through purchase and donation of conservation restrictions and fee title.

The Tuckernuck Land Trust has employed a number of land protection strategies to leverage funds and preserve the greatest number of acres. TLT has bought land and received gifts of land to hold in perpetuity; it has placed conservation restrictions on key parcels that have been temporarily held; and it has assisted partner organizations with conservation projects. The Tuckernuck Land Trust works with landowners to tailor conservation strategies to meet the families estate planning needs, while at the same time preserving Tuckernuck Island's outstanding natural habitat.

Preserving the Island's rich natural habitats is at the heart of the Tuckernuck Land Trust's work. The strength and resilience of plants and animals depend on the unbuilt landscape, where shifts in seasonal and climatic changes can be accommodated and a robust diversity of species can adapt and persist.