In 2011, Three Valley Conservation Trust was selected as a subcontractor by the Fernald Trustees to develop conservation easements on eligible lands in the Paddy’s Run drainage. The Ohio EPA acts as the project manager with collaboration from US Fish and Wildlife and US Dept. of Energy.
The primary goal of the project is water quality restoration. By protecting land from incompatible surface development, streams and buried aquifers will also be protected from excessive surface runoff and pollutants. Damage associated with the Fernald processing facility will be further mitigated.
Given its track record in developing and overseeing easements, the Three Valley Trust was retained to implement the project. Early success with the Hesselbrock conservation easement in 2005 helped facilitate subsequent easement donations and purchases.
The project team is pleased to report to the Land Protection Committee that as of August 29, 2013, over 1,850 acres of land will be under conservation easement. This acreage represents fourteen different parcels. Two parcels totaling 170 acres are currently in process for fee simple acquisition. Fifteen additional applications are currently in process and we hope to have them under easement within the next six months.
The Three Valley Trust brings considerable professional support to the project. Eric Hollins has been a tireless liaison working with the many agencies and individuals in navigating the complex web of property transactions. In addition, the Trust is blessed to have three wonderful student interns – Kelly Adelman, Alex Finch and Zak Cottingim – who have been invaluable in preparing maps for the project. The project team also wishes to thank those TVCT Board members who have attended the easement closings.
The project team has enhanced the Trust’s working relationship with many public entities, including the Morgan Township Trustees, the Morgan Township Zoning Administrator, and the staff of the Butler County MetroParks, as well as state and federal farm agencies. Negotiations have proven both productive and educational. We all learn as we work together.