Conservation Easements: Stewarding the Ever Changing Landscape

Conservation Easements: Stewarding the Ever Changing Landscape

Conservation Easements by definition are perpetual. Stewarding the land is a role that never ends, both for our staff and for our landowners. The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) Stewardship staff had another busy year working closely with current easement landowners, and an influx of new easement landowners to process multiple and unique reserved rights requests. 2021 proved to bring forth new ideas as easement landowners adjusted their operations to the ever changing landscape. Stewardship staff processed multiple reserved rights requests, worked closely with Agricultural Program staff to review Best Management Practice designs, stewarded active timber harvests, and communicated with real estate agents and new potential landowners to address any easement related questions as they explored purchasing an eased property. We are looking forward to working with new landowners as they explore various agriculture related enterprises.

WAC added an additional 343 acres of land to its portfolio. A closing not without obstacles due to a pandemic, austerity measures, and even the fragility of life itself delayed this transaction.

Sadly Tom Truesdell wasn’t here to see it to fruition but as Cindy, the administrator of his estate, stated, “All farmers have a connection to their land. He never wanted to see it developed.”

We thank her, and Bobby, for honoring Tom’s legacy and are very pleased to see the “Upper Farm” on Roses Brook forever conserved.

Conservation Easement Program Stats: 32,210 Acres •• 12 Active Forest Harvest Plans •• 14 Bluestone Mines open •• 13 Right of Ways processed •• 20 Subdivisions, Rural Enterprises and Stream Work Requests •• 11 Tower & Communication Devices

Read more from the 2021 Annual Report here.