Group Photo
Pictured from Left to Right: Jeff Wells, Vice President for Land Protection; Vicki Kauffman, Executive Director; Greg Spaid, Trustee; Matt Skinner, Highland Real Estate; Matt Starr, Mayor; Quentin Platt, Assistant City Engineer; Zane Mikesell, GIS Technician

The importance of yearly conservation monitoring of our protected easements.

Last month, the Conservation Easement Monitoring Team here at Owl Creek Conservancy conducted a yearly walk-through of the Blackjack Wetlands Preserve.  This protected property is in the early development stages of becoming a public preserve, so that all may enjoy the pristine beauty of these wetlands.  

Do you know why we believe in the importance of conservation easement monitoring?  

We are preserving biodiversity:

  • Conservation easements are often established in ecologically sensitive areas with diverse flora and fauna. Regular monitoring ensures that the habitat remains intact, providing a safe space for native species to thrive. This, in turn, contributes to overall biodiversity conservation.

We also are protecting water resources:

  • Many conservation easements (such as this one) are located near water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Monitoring helps prevent activities that could degrade water quality or disrupt the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems. Preserving these water resources is vital for both wildlife and human communities.

By routine monitoring we are maintaining ecosystem services:

  • Healthy ecosystems provide a wide range of services, from purifying air and water to regulating climate. Monitoring ensures that the ecological functions of the protected area remain intact, allowing these essential services to persist for the benefit of the surrounding landscape.

By conducting yearly inspections we are preventing unauthorized activities:

  • Conservation easement monitoring helps detect and prevent any unauthorized activities on the protected land. This can include illegal logging, poaching, or any other activities that violate the terms of the easement. Timely intervention is crucial to addressing such issues and maintaining the integrity of the conservation effort.