How do Nantucket’s turtles survive the winter?!

Spotted turtles are a relatively uncommon species of freshwater turtle in Massachusetts but Nantucket has fairly sizable and robust populations. Still, they are seldom seen, certainly not as frequently as their cousins, the other resident shelled reptilians, snapping and painted turtles. Spotted turtles are secretive and very picky about the kinds of habitat they prefer.…

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Good Firebreaks Make Good Neighbors

One of the frequent calls we get at the Foundation’s office during the fall, winter and early spring involves questions about the firebreak management work we are doing on our properties. Why are we cutting down the shrubs? Where will we be cutting next? Will we eventually be cutting down everything? The level of interest…

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Less Shrubs and Moor Views

Take a walk in the northwestern portion of our vast Middle Moors property holdings this winter, and you will see that the landscape in this area has been opened up dramatically. This brushcutting management work is being undertaken by Foundation staff and is associated with our Middle Moors Wildland Fire Management Plan. The mutually-compatible goals…

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Meet Our New Sheep Grazing Project Technician!

We are very pleased to welcome Constance Helstosky to our year-round staff as our new Sheep Grazing Project Technician. Connie joined us in mid-November and has hit the ground running, taking on the many responsibilities associated with the care and maintenance of our current flock of 75 sheep at Squam Farm. Connie took over this…

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Restoring Illegally Created Trails on Foundation Properties

Working for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department, we spend a large portion of our time maintaining and restoring Foundation properties as favorable habitats for rare plants and animals through prescribed fire, sheep grazing and mowing to name a few techniques. Nantucket is home to very unique sandplain grassland habitats and supports the highest percentage…

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Fires of Spring

Green is the color that most of us associate with spring and early summer- but in some of the island’s conservation areas, black is the first color of the season. Spring and fall are when many open space managers in the northeast, including the Foundation, conduct an important ecological management practice called prescribed burning. As…

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2013: A Good Year for Science at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation!

Happy New Year everyone! New Years is a good time to take a moment to reflect on the year that has just passed and make plans for the future. During these winter months in between field seasons, our year-round Science and Stewardship Department staff get together for several group meetings. We spend valuable time reflecting…

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Salt Marsh Construction at Medouie Creek

The Medouie Creek Wetland is a large wetland along the north side of Polpis Harbor on Nantucket Island.  This wetland was historically one large salt water marsh, directly connected to the harbor, getting daily tides washing over it.  Sometime in the 1930s, a dike was created to build a road, allowing people access to the…

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