Orient Land Trust (OLT) staff and volunteers joined three representatives from The Nature Conservancy on July 29th and 30th for the annual assessment of the conservation easement on the ranch and hot springs properties.
For those who haven't heard, the OLT has partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to place a conservation easement on 1,270 acres encompassing the ranch and hot springs. This easement was implemented in 2010 to ensure the long term conservation of the unique and biologically diverse lands encompassed by the OLT. The easement was designed to protect the significant natural, scientific, and educational values of these lands while allowing for continued operation of the ranch and hot springs facilities.
The Nature Conservancy sends a monitoring team to the OLT annually to ensure the conservation goals of the easement are being met. Specialists revisit monitoring points each year and record notes and photos to document the ecological health of those areas. They also sit down with staff to discuss activities at the ranch and springs. Their visits give the OLT an opportunity to get immediate feedback on the conservation value of various proposed projects.
OLT staff representatives Doug Bishop, Mark Jacobi, and Mike O'Donnell were joined by Conservation Committee volunteers David Mixon and Martin Jolly for the meeting with The Nature Conservancy staff. As always, the representatives from The Nature Conservancy thoroughly enjoyed their visit and expressed their appreciation for the earnest and proactive conservation efforts of the OLT. Feedback on the state of the land was positive and the OLT was able to provide The Nature Conservancy with updates on several future projects, such as our soon-to-be-upgraded wastewater treatment system. The Nature Conservancy and the Orient Land Trust look forward to maintaining this relationship long into the future.
by David Mixon, Conservation Committee Chair
The Nature Conservancy