North Central Conservancy Trust signs first easement in Clark County
In late August, Doug Fields and Roxana Reitz signed North Central Conservancy Trust’s (NCCT) latest conservation easement on a 65.14 acre property located in the town of Hixon, Clark County.
A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a land trust like NCCT that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Conservation easements are especially important for protecting the environmental qualities of central Wisconsin’s landscape.
The Fields-Reitz easement is significant because it is the first conservation easement held by NCCT in Clark County. The Fields-Reitz easement is designed to protect a mosaic of wooded and open land that provides significant habitat for wildlife and plant communities.
Because of their combined efforts, a majority of the acreage has been reforested in the 40-plus years they have owned the property.
Fields and Reitz said “our goal has always been to utilize the land to provide a significant part of our living while actively working to ‘re-wild’ or restore a large part of it. With the help of the Conservancy, we crafted an easement that will protect the woods we are working to re-establish, while still allowing future owners to grow food, gather fuelwood and other forest products, hunt, and practice small-scale farming. Protecting and preserving our land would have been very difficult without the help of a land trust organization.”
Fields and Reitz first became interested in a conservation easement in 2009. Because of the permanent nature of conservation easements, it sometimes takes a number of years to tailor the terms to meet the needs of both the landowner and the land trust.
The signing of the Fields-Reitz easement concluded a six-year project and protected the first 65 acres in Clark County.
NCCT completed three significant conservation easements protecting more than 142 acres in 2015.
Since NCCT’s creation in 1996, more than 3,500 acres of central Wisconsin landscapes have been permanently preserved. Supporters like Fields and Reitz help NCCT ensure that central Wisconsin will remain the place many treasure, retaining its special rural character and beauty for future generations.
North Central Conservancy Trust is a nonprofit organization working to protect worthy scenic, working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin.
For more information, call 715-344-1910 or visit www.ncctwi.org.