The core of the Tuckernuck Land Trust's conservation program is to permanently protect land to preserve the Island's natural communities and unique coastal ecology.
Tuckernuck Island sustains plant communities which are distinctive to the North Atlantic Region, including one of the last remaining intact occurrences of maritime grassland. It hosts several state-rare plant and animal species that are able to thrive in the harsh maritime conditions. The entire island of Tuckernuck has been identified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Core Habitat, a critical component for protecting statewide biodiversity.
A number of land protection strategies are used to leverage funds and stretch dollars to preserve the greatest number of acres while working within a coastal region known to command high real estate prices.
TLT's priority is to preserve entire properties as open space. To achieve this, the Tuckernuck Land Trust purchases land and accepts gifts of land which it holds in perpetuity. When landowners prefer to retain ownership of their property but are willing to permanently preserve the property's conservation values, TLT will assist facilitation of a conservation restriction to be placed on the property and be held by another organization. Some situations require creative solutions and involve more than one property transfer in order to preserve the most valuable habitat. In these instances, TLT may temporarily acquire a property that already has a house or is in a location preferable for development. A conservation restriction will be recorded limiting further development and protecting the land's conservation values. Then the property will be resold or exchanged for a property that had previously been targeted for full protection in prepetuity. This scenario limits or directs development to areas with least impact or fragmentation to the landscape and wildlife habitat.