Most of the wildlands of Monhegan Island are privately owned and managed by the Monhegan Associates Inc., a land trust. The land trust is dedicated to sustaining the natural beauty and ecology of these lands while keeping them accessible to visitors.
Below is a list of governing documents that encompass the policy of land governance. These documents have evolved over the years of discussion and decisions by various groups of Trustees who are responsible for preserving the land and reflect the current position of the land ownership. Please respect posted rules so that the land can be enjoyed in its natural state by all.
Legal Governing Documents:
Monhegan Associates Inc. Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation – This is the overarching legal document that governs the associates.
Stewardship Plan, 2004– This is the stewardship plan that was written and approved by the Trustees in 2004 and remains in effect as the principle guiding document for day to day oversight and management of the land.
Proposed Stewardship Plan revision, 2016 – This reflects a significant effort to update the 2004 plan. In the end it was never ratified by the Trustees, but contains much valuable insight and thinking about the stewardship of the land.
Additional Written Policies:
Additional policies have been written to clarify or detail certain aspects of land oversight with more specific guidance on their implementation. These policies were voted on by the Trustees and are considered to supercede and prior understanding of the area being addressed. These policies can be revised as new insights or understanding about the specific area are learned.
Trail Maintenance Policy – How the day to day trimming and grooming of the trails are done on the Monhegan trail system.
Signage Policy – This policy governs the details of the signs that are used on the trails in the Monhegan Wildlands
Bridging Policy – This policy outlines what types of bridges may be used for the crossing of wet trails in the Monhegan Wildlands
Drone Policy -This policy explains the rational behind the prohibition of the use of drones in the Monhegan Wildlands.
Herbicide Policy –This policy details the prohibition of herbicide usage in the Monhegan Wildlands
Leave No Trace Policy – This policy explains why MAI asks visitors to “pack in/ pack out” and outlines what measures are to be taken to remove “fairy houses” built on the trails.
Bees & Wasps Policy– This policy details what measures are to be taken when bee and wasp nests are found in the MAI hiking trails.
Poison Ivy Policy– This policy details what measures are taken to alert visitors of the existence of Poison Ivy on the MAI trails as well as, when possible, what removal measures may be used.
Additional Unwritten Policies:
In addition to the above specific policies, there are a number of policies that were voted on by the Trustees at various times that have yet to be officially written into formal policies. Most of these relate to personal safety or the preservation of the tranquil and natural ambience of the undisturbed wildlands.
The following activities are prohibited on Monhegan Associates Land:
- Smoking and any other Fire– The Wildlands are a serious fire hazard and the Monhegan Associates has adopted a policy prohibiting all smoking and fires on its properties.
- Wheeled Vehicles – Wheeled vehicles such as bicycles, dirt bikes, strollers & ATVs are prohibited on Monhegan Associates trails.
- Camping – Camping is not permitted anywhere in the Wildlands.
- Technical Rock Climbing – While the rocky headlands on Monhegan are very attractive to some technical rock climbers, Monhegan as a community, ten miles by sea from the nearest mainland access, is not equipped to handle accidents associated with this activity.
- Landing of Commercial or Private Aircraft – (2018) – The exceptions are the landing of Life-Flight medical emergency aircraft or law enforcement and military aircraft. In the event that these landings are necessary, there are specific protocols that are practiced to ensure the safety of bystanders.