Pocono Easement Monitoring
I monitored easements in Pike County this week. Like Dan, I am humbled by the generosity of the people who conserve their properties with a Conservation Easement. I also feel privileged to interact with the landowners when I monitor these properties once a year. These landowners protected their property because it was special; usually to them personally and in the larger ecological context. Since most of my easements are still owned by the people that established them, they have a vested interest. They are comforted that Natural Lands Trust will continue to provide the protection for their beloved properties when they are no longer there to be the property’s spokesperson.
The two properties I monitored on Thursday were established, in part, to protect the water resources of creeks and tributaries that will eventually empty into the Delaware River. They have steep hemlock slopes shading the streams, along with several wetlands and ephemeral pools. Both have massive rock outcrops, and rich forests. For me personally, these are worth preserving on a spiritual level alone. They are that beautiful. The conservation value is equally priceless. I heard a Barred Owl, saw deer, turkeys, ducks and a Bald Eagle while monitoring these properties. Every year as I drive to the easement there are more new houses along the way, so the water resources and wildlife habitat that they will continue to protect are genuinely significant.
I will be sharing more photos from my monitoring foray in the future. Hopefully, readers will be able to get a sense of my admiration for these special properties.