The Mackinac Conservancy is a Mackinac Island effort guided by a Steering Committee composed of Island landowners and residents. The Steering Committee is assisted by the resources of the Conservancy staff, Land Protection Committee and Board of Trustees to identify potential conservation projects and work with landowners to protect their property.
Projects funded by Mackinac Conservancy must, in general, meet the selection criteria of the Little Traverse Conservancy; however, it is recognized that Mackinac Island presents unique challenges and opportunities in land conservation and projects will therefore be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. More information on Little Traverse Conservancy follows:
The Little Traverse Conservancy secures ownership, through gift or purchase, of important, natural land in order to protect scenic beauty, endangered plants and animals, and to provide recreation areas for residents and visitors. All Conservancy-owned land is open to the public. Conservation easements are agreements with landowners that limit the type or amount of development on their property. Conservation easements allow the Conservancy to work with private land owners to prevent overdevelopment of fragile resources and to preserve scenic beauty and ecological integrity. Land protected by conservation easements is privately owned and not open to the public.
Little Traverse Conservancy has a comprehensive stewardship program which involves the management, monitoring, and maintenance of all the Conservancy's nature preserves and conservation easements. Various plans, projects, and activities are carried out continuously to ensure that the land entrusted to LTC remains protected.
Government plays a crucial role in providing recreation land and resource management. The Conservancy assists local units with parkland acquisition, helps to consolidate state ownership for more efficient resource management, and provides information and technical assistance to all levels of government. One of the most popular and productive aspects of the Conservancy's land protection program is its work with local units of government interested in obtaining land for parks or nature preserves. The Board of Trustees has for years pursued a policy of making staff available to assist local governments who need administrative or technical help in acquiring land or obtaining funding for land acquisitions which are generally consistent with the Conservancy mission.
Since 1972, the Conservancy has protected more than 51,000 acres of land and 130 miles of lake or stream frontage. Its most dramatic growth, however, has been over the past eleven years, with more than 31,000 acres protected and 73 miles of water frontage. Like most non-profit organizations, the Conservancy carries out its mission thanks to the generosity of its more than 3,900 members. Their support has helped it to protect more than $137 million of land so far, or $11 of land for each membership dollar donated. Environmental education and community field trip programs reach thousands of additional people annually. The Conservancy is a broad coalition of individuals, families, and businesses who agree that the acquisition and protection of natural land is important if we are to retain the quality of life which makes northern Michigan so attractive.
The Little Traverse Conservancy is supported entirely by people who willingly donate their time, talent, and financial support to protect irreplaceable natural land. The Conservancy does not engage in political activity or lobbying and takes no position on zoning or regulatory matters. The Little Traverse Conservancy represents people's willingness to put their money where their heart is to protect natural land. We seek to adorn our communities, as they grow, with beautiful open spaces. Just as an architect uses plantings and gardens to add to the aesthetic beauty of a building, we work to provide scenic views, open spaces, and wildlife habitat to enhance our communities. Over the past decade, the Conservancy has seen an exponential growth in the number of acres protected and total projects. The Little Traverse Conservancy is the largest membership supported organization in Northern Michigan. This membership support is critical to the Conservancy and provides about 70 percent of its Operating Budget. For more information, visit www.landtrust.org.