Agreement Brings LTTN Total to 60,200 Acres Across State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tricia King
The Land Trust for Tennessee
The Land Trust for Tennessee Announces Conservation of Standifer Gap Marsh in Hamilton County
CHATTANOOGA, TN -- The Land Trust for Tennessee announced that the Woodland Park Baptist Church will conserve nearly 32 acres known as Standifer Gap Marsh through a permanent conservation agreement with the statewide nonprofit land conservation organization.
The Standifer Gap Marsh is primarily a spring-fed wetland, with over 1,000 feet of Friar’s Branch running though the property and into South Chickamauga Creek. Designated as a site that contains rare and unique habitat by the Tennessee Important Bird Areas program, the marsh is home to more than 100 species of birds that have been recorded nesting or feeding in and around the wetland. One of these species, the Least Bittern, does not generally breed in East Tennessee. Many of the birds inhabiting or overwintering in the wetland are considered threatened or endangered by state or federal agencies. The conservation agreement includes a provision for mitigation of the property to increase the available habitat and remove many invasive species that threaten the native flora and fauna on the property.
A voluntary conservation agreement, also known as a conservation easement, is a contract between a landowner and a land trust, government agency, or another qualified organization in which the owner places permanent restrictions on the future uses of some or all of his property to protect scenic, wildlife, or agricultural resources.
Conservation agreements are specifically tailored to meet important conservation purposes and the individual needs of the landowner. The easement is donated by the owner to the land trust, which then has the authority and obligation to enforce the terms of the easement "in perpetuity." The landowner still owns the property and can use it, sell it, or leave it to heirs, but the restrictions of the easement stay with the land forever.
“When critical wildlife habitat such as an Important Bird Area is protected, the entire community benefits from the preservation of an irreplaceable aspect of our quality of life” said Jean C. Nelson, president and executive director of The Land Trust. “We are grateful to have the support of landowners, such as the Woodland Park Baptist Church, to personify the mission of The Land Trust and be such stewards of our land in Tennessee.”
This latest project marks the 8th property in Hamilton County protected by The Land Trust for Tennessee in less than five years, of which 6 conserved properties are less than ten miles away from the Marsh.
About the Land Trust for Tennessee
The Land Trust for Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 1999. The mission of The Land Trust for Tennessee is to preserve the unique character of Tennessee’s natural and historic landscapes and sites for future generations. We have protected over 60,000 acres in 48 counties throughout the state. Our work has helped conserve signature places including Fiery Gizzard, Mayfield Dairy Farm, the Graysville Mountain portion of The Cumberland Trail, Standifer Gap Marsh, and Lost Cove, as well as thousands of acres of family farms throughout the state. On the horizon is the Moore Farm, home of the historic Rattlesnake Springs. We work to protect our river corridors, wildlife habitats, agricultural lands, historic and scenic sites and urban open spaces. The organization is supported primarily by financial contributions from individuals. More information is available at www.landtrusttn.org.