In its fall 2016 newsletter, the Merill W. Linn Conservancy announced that it has protected 240 acres of farmlandmerrill lin and forest in Buffalo Township, Union County. The land belongs to Wayne Stahl, who reached an agreement with the Conservancy to place the land under a conservation easement. The easement will ensure that the land retains its rural character in perpetuity.

“As it appears now, as productive farmland and woodland, so it will be for all future generations,” Stahl said. “The agreement permits a minimum of agricultural development, but it will never have ‘factory’ farming; that is, not giant hog or chicken barns.”

In addition to farmland, the property contains old-growth forest, meadow, and wetlands, which provide important habitat for wildlife. Biologists have identified over 150 different plant species on the land, and 80 bird species are known to nest in vicinity, with many more using the area during migration. The woodlands and tree-line hedgerows that border cropland will remain as they are under the terms of the easement. Furthermore, a portion of the land, designated as the Velma M. Stahl Wildlife Sanctuary, will be preserved in its wild state.

The Stahl property lies adjacent to the Zimmerman Farm, which is protected by the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program. This means that there will forever be 330 acres of green space side by side in Buffalo Township.

“Our rural land in Union County can remain both productive and scenic. I am delighted with the conservation easement,” Stahl said.

The Conservancy will celebrate the easement on Saturday, September 24 at 10 am. Everyone is welcome to join for refreshments and a walking tour of the Stahl property. The address is 138 Indian Ridge Road in Lewisburg, between Mazeppa and Forest Hill on the north side of Colonel John Kelly Road.