Monitoring Conservation Easements

April 8, 2011

Like the other Preserve Managers at Natural Lands, I monitor easements.  Unlike, most of them, I am still monitoring (most mangers have finished by now).  Like Dan, I was delayed because of the deep snow.  Some of my easements are in the Poconos and I had to reschedule a few monitoring visits in March due to snow storms.

Conservation easements are a tool for land owners to protect the natural resources and values of their property for future generations.  I feel privileged to talk to these landowners once a year when I do my monitoring.  They are heroes in my book.

I also get to visit some very special places.  For instance several of the properties have escarpments, a geological formation often found in Pike County.

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This formation broke off of an escarpment ages ago.  It is interesting because the formation is almost a perfect right angle, and relatively uniform in thickness.

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Many of the Conservation Easements protect wetlands, or the headwaters of small creeks in the Poconos.  I often cross paths with Wood Ducks and other waterfowl on my monitoring forays.

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Here is a lovely waterfall that flows into and upland pool.  The waterfall will stop flowing in dry weather, but this pool will remain (except in the severest drought) to provide habitat to all sorts of wildlife.

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Speaking of wildlife, I often see lots of wildlife like this turkey.  I have seen fisher tracks, Bald Eagles, black bear, porcupines, coyotes, deer and beavers while monitoring conservation easements.

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