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Tech to Care for the Wild

In the world of technology there is always a delicate balance between keeping up with rapidly-changing tech, and making good use of the tech that you have. This is especially true for the types of technology used for land stewardship, and our Stewardship Director, Shelby Perry, worked hard this past winter to improve our process without sacrificing user-friendliness and efficiency in her work and that of our volunteers.

Stewardship Director Shelby Perry collecting field data on an iPad. Photo © Paul Willis.

As part of her research this winter, Shelby partnered with a friend from The Nature Conservancy and hosted a workshop at the Northeast Stewardship Summit, an all-day conference for stewardship professionals from across the region. The workshop she co-hosted asked participants to collect common field data—a line, photo, point, and polygon—on their own stewardship devices and apps and then submit that data back to the organizers in a sort of stewardship obstacle course. The data was plotted and compared to determine accuracy, speed, and ease of use and was shared with participants at the Summit.

Shelby was also accepted to present the technology workflows she uses at the New York Land Trust Alliance Symposium on April 24th as part of a panel on new stewardship technologies along with representatives from the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, Scenic Hudson, Lake Placid Land Conservancy, and Open Space Institute. Her presentation covered the technology she uses in the field and how the data collected by our volunteer land stewards is processed and archived. Shelby hopes to be able to fully implement her technology upgrades this field season, and to continue to use them for several more seasons before again looking into new technologies and improvements in efficiency. As stewardship technology continues to evolve, so will our approach to stewarding Northeast Wilderness Trust preserves and conservation easements, with a constant goal of improving our ability to detect and report violations.

If you are interested in being a volunteer land steward please contact Shelby at for a list of properties and locations where stewards are currently needed.

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