Today, December 14, 2017, we worked with conservation-minded landowners in Green County to permanently protect a 5,000 foot stretch of Hefty Creek. It is part of a 252-acre farming landscape of pasture, prairie, and savanna (click here for a map). This farm is now protected by a perpetual conservation easement, a voluntary but binding agreement that keeps the land in private ownership and on the tax rolls but strongly limits future development. Under the easement, the farm is not open to the public but contributes to the health of Hefty Creek through good management of the surrounding uplands. In 2001 the landowners received the “Wildlife Habitat Development Award” from the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association for their work improving wildlife habitat on the farm.

Hefty Creek is a Class II trout stream and has been designated as an Exceptional Resource Water by the Wisconsin DNR. The newly protected property is adjacent to a permanent streambank easement held by the DNR on an upstream stretch of Hefty Creek.

Our thanks go to the landowners for generously donating the conservation easement and contributing to our endowment at Madison Community Foundation to ensure that we will always have the resources to protect the property, even after they no longer own it. Stay tuned for information on a “lunch and learn” event this winter to hear how the landowners achieved their goal to protect the property.

A milestone passed! With the permanent protection of this farm, you have helped us pass the 10,000 acre milestone in the amount of land Natural Heritage Land Trust has protected since we were established in 1983. A sincere thank you to all our supporters. Your involvement has brought us this far and your confidence and dedication has laid a strong foundation for much more. We look forward to all that we can continue to achieve together.