It's About the Land 9-11-2015

It’s About the Land 

The North Branford Land Conservation Trust, Inc.

We hear the word ‘invasion’ a lot these days. It is used in different contexts; military invasion, invasion of privacy, home invasion, and to describe a natural phenomenon of the plant kingdom, when invasive species take over and drive out native plants and wildflowers. Each context has an underlying common theme—each represents an unwanted or undesirable encroachment, an action which upsets, changes or destroys something we treasure.

Recently the North Branford Land Conservation Trust, Inc. has discovered instances where a few adjoining landowners may have unwittingly invaded or encroached upon one of our properties. The land trust owns about 230 acres of land set aside for the protection of open space in 50 separate parcels.  Many of these parcels are small, scattered about town, often bordering residential neighborhoods. You may be unaware that the piece of land bordering your back or side yard is owned by the land trust. Over the past three years, the land trust has begun to inspect and mark the boundaries of its landholdings. With its all-volunteer staff, work parties are formed to go out on weekends or early evenings to inspect property lines of land trust property.

The field inspections have revealed a problem. In several instances adjoining landowners have encroached on land trust property by cutting down trees, filling low lying areas, piling brush, discarding unwanted items such as old tires and scrap lumber, and other pieces of  ‘junk’, or parking vehicles and trailers. Even structures have been found on land trust property. More commonly, adjoining land trust property is used as a garden or extension of a lawn.

As a land trust, the preservation and conservation of our open space property is a duty and responsibility we try to uphold. That’s because we are stewards of land protected for public benefit and enjoyment. Should our inspections reveal an encroachment on land trust property, we will notify the adjoining owner and schedule a meeting to discuss the issue and seek an amicable resolution. So before undertaking a tree clearing project next to a wooded area, check the location of your property’s boundary.  We look to our neighbors to help us protect the land. Become a member. You can find us at NBLandtrust.org or check us out on Facebook.

Sincerely,

Otto Schaefer, Secretary

North Branford Land Conservation Trust, Incorporated