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Black Swamp Conservancy Reaches 9,000-Acre Milestone

November 19, 2010 | Black Swamp Conservancy | Perrysburg, OH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kevin Joyce
The Black Swamp Conservancy
419.872.5263 | kjoyce@blackswamp.org

Black Swamp Conservancy Reaches 9,000-Acre Milestone

 

PERRYSBURG, OH -- Black Swamp Conservancy has passed the 9,000-acre mark in conserved lands.

The conservancy, based in Perrysburg, Ohio, is a non-profit land conservation organization dedicated to protecting and preserving natural and agricultural lands in northwest Ohio for the benefit of future generations. The organization serves a sixteen-county area that is about the size of the state of Connecticut.

“There are lots of benefits from land conservation, so this is an important milestone for all the citizens of northwest Ohio,” said Kevin Joyce, executive director of the conservancy. “Parks and nature preserves provide space for healthy outdoor activities. Farmland preservation ensures the future of agriculture, Ohio’s #1 industry. Woods and wetlands help keep our water and air clean.”  

The conservancy passed the 9,000-acre mark when it reached a land conservation agreement with the owners of a 235-acre family farm west of Fremont.

Since then, Black Swamp Conservancy has added to its protected lands a 63-acre woods outside Tiffin, 145 acres of prime farmland near Delta in Fulton County, a 65-acre nature preserve on the Sandusky River north of Fremont, and an 18-acre wetland and waterway in the city of Oregon.

“9,300 acres is a lot of land,” said Mr. Joyce. “It would cover more than 7,000 football fields, including the end zones. If laid end-to-end, those fields would stretch from our office in Perrysburg to the White House in Washington, D.C.”

The conservancy preserves land mostly through perpetual land conservation agreements known as conservation easements. Through such an agreement, the landowner gives up the right to develop the property – such as by constructing buildings, putting in roads or driveways or subdividing the land – in order to protect its conservation values, which might include its value as prime farmland or as habitat for native plants and animals.

Every land conservation is filed with the county recorder, and the use restrictions become binding on the current owner and everyone else who acquires ownership at any time in the future, in perpetuity.

Under the terms of its conservation agreements, Black Swamp Conservancy is responsible for ensuring that the use restrictions are not violated. However, the conservancy does not become an owner of the property. If the land conservation agreement is broken, the conservancy may take legal action to stop the misconduct and return the property to its original condition.

“Our purpose at Black Swamp Conservancy is to preserve the rural heritage, unique natural habitats, and lakes and streams of northwest Ohio,” said the conservancy’s executive director, Kevin Joyce. “Our hope is that, by protecting our valuable land and water resources, we help create healthier communities with strong, sustainable economies.”

“The economic benefits of land conservation shouldn’t be overlooked,” added Mr. Joyce. “For example, our friends at Black Swamp Bird Observatory tell us that we had 50,000 birdwatchers in the Port Clinton area in just one week in May. Fishermen flock to northwest Ohio when the walleye make their run up the rivers every spring. Those visitors are spending a lot of money while they’re in our area.”

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