A Swath of Undisturbed Forest
WEST VIRGINIA - The 998 acres of undisturbed forest in Hardy and Hampshire counties has been in the family of Carlton Mills for 53 years. Now, because Mr. Mills decided to donate a conservation easement to the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust, the land will be undisturbed for all time.
The easement, the largest in Hampshire County, protects the property from subdivision and permits sustainable timber harvesting. The Potomac Conservancy, which helped Mr. Mills draft the easement, is the back-up holder of the easement. The land, which has been used primarily as a hunting retreat, is home to turkey, deer, owl, hawk, gray and red fox and migratory birds.
"When I saw that the easement would guarantee that the land could be hunted forever, I was convinced," said Mr. Mills, who offered to encourage his neighbor to consider donating conservation easements. "If you want to protect open land, that's the only thing you can do. Growth is good. You have to have jobs. But if you want a place for your grandson to hunt, you have to do something. Just look at the land that is gone in our lifetime."