Danfosha at aol.com Danfosha at aol.com
Thu Jul 8 14:29:10 EDT 1999

        you didn't tell us much about your land trust, but I think some key
issues need to be resolved before you find the answers to your questions.
        A disagreement of this type indicates that your group may not have
made a decision about the precise purpose of your land trust. I assume you
have a mission statement. Do you have goals for the land?
        You didn't tell us if your trust is designed to preserve farmland,
restore land to historical  conditions, protect rare species, or represent a
sample of a particular Maine ecosystem.
Your mission statement and goals (1 year, 5 years, 10 even, 100) will guide
you. Do you have a decision making process decided? If you don't tackle these
issues, my experience (as a board member of the Southern Plains Land Trust)
suggests that you will spend significant amount of time in disagreement, and
therefore inaction.
        I have some more information about organizational planning - email me
if you want it.
My personal opinion is that the world has no demonstrable need for dairy
farms. Unless your organization is designed to provide employment to people,
I wouldn''t bother with that either.
Once you have your organization focused, you should do an inventory of
everything you can. It is impossible to put together a science based
management plan unless you know what you have. The Maine natural heritage
program  can help you with this, or at least give you direction.
Do you have an advisory committee? Get an advisory committee of scientists
who can give you advice on management for what you have on your land.
If you find anything rare or unusual, you may want to manage for that,
whether it is a species, an association or community. For example, you may be
able to provide a significant nesting area for some birds.
You can do a lot with 270 acres - every piece counts.
You have an awesome and exciting responsibility.
Best wishes,
Dan Fosha

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