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SG-W:/ SG-W/:Webster Township easement donations

The Washtenaw Land Trust is pleased to announce the donation of two 
Conservation Easements in Webster Township, bringing its total of protected 
lands to over 1,000 acres.

The two properties-totalling over 61 acres-are of widely varying terrain, 
with wetlands, woods, streams and old fields featured.  The Conservation 
Easements serve to protect the natural features, water quality and wildlife 
habitat by prohibiting alteration of the landscape from its current 
condition.  The property may not be divided, and additional structures are 

Donors of the easement are Bill and Carol Kauffman, who began purchasing 
several properties in northern Webster Township in 1979 to keep them in open 
space.  A great deal of wildlife-including sandhill cranes, coyotes and 
fox-populates the property.  The Kauffmans have been letting the land "rest" 
and now have ensured that the land will be forever protected.

"WPLT is thrilled to accept these easement donations in gorgeous and rapidly 
developing Webster Township," said WPLT's Executive Director Barry Lonik.  
"These are outstanding natural lands quite worthy of protecting, in the midst 
of intense development pressure.  The Kauffmans are leaving a legacy of open 
lands and are to be heartily commended."

A Conservation Easement is a legal document that defines what kinds of 
activities can and cannot be done on the property.  When an agreement is 
reached, the landowner and the land trust sign the document and it is 
recorded with the deed so that it is binding on current as well as future 
landowners.  The donation of an easement allows the donors to declare the 
value of their "development rights"-for things like cutting trees, surface 
mining and residential development-as a deduction for federal income tax 
purposes.  Easements are flexible documents and may allow for some 
development; in some cases easements may be purchased to provide access to a 
property's equity without selling it off for development.  Public access is 
not allowed.

WPLT is currently working on a number of land preservation projects, 
including purchase of a property for a nature preserve, purchase a 
conservation easement on a small farm property and a number of other easement 
donations across Washtenaw County.

For more information on the Washtenaw Land Trust, Conservation Easements or 
any related land preservation topic, contact WLT's Executive Director Barry 
Lonik at (734) 426-3669, email at <BLonik13@aol.com> or write to 1100 N. Main 
St. #203, Ann Arbor MI, 48104.

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