Georgia Land Trust and Plum Creek announced a conservation easement agreement to conserve 5,285 acres in Liberty County, Ga. The Jelks Pasture Conservation Easement was officially announced at an Oct. 20 event held at the on site, among the hammocks, marches and tidal estuaries the easement will protect and attended by state and local conservation and public officials.

Maritime forest and coastal hammocks and tidal marshes are conserved in the new conservation easement to be held and monitored by Georgia Land Trust.

Plum Creek voluntarily donated this easement which will provide permanent, natural habitat throughout the Jelks Pasture area for high-priority species and ecosystems as defined by the Georgia Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The company, which will continue to own the land, has agreed to protect its ecological, recreational and historic values and to keep it in an undeveloped state. As the easement holder, Georgia Land Trust will monitor the property to ensure the established conditions of the easement are met. 

“Plum Creek has a strong history of conservation, and we are pleased to partner to conserve this environmental treasure for the benefit of public interest and enjoyment,” said Jim Kilberg, senior vice president of real estate for Plum Creek.  “By partnering with Georgia Land Trust, the Georgia Conservancy and a number of other public and private partners, we will protect this special place for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

 Plum Creek, which owns more than 350,000 acres in Coastal Georgia and 28,600 acres in Liberty County, has committed more than 1.3 million acres of lands to conservation outcomes across the country.

“This Plum Creek conservation easement–with its size, environmental values and sheer beauty–is an example of a company successfully balancing the need for community growth with the need to protect the most fragile of natural resources,” said Katherine Eddins, executive director of Georgia Land Trust. “The benefits of this conservation easement–cleaner water and air, soil quality, enhanced wildlife and fisheries habitat in healthy watersheds–extend beyond the boundaries of the protected land and provide everlasting, measureable value to people and communities.

At the announcement of the Plum Creek-Georgia Land Trust conservation easement were from left, John McIver, chairman of the Liberty County board of commissioners, Katherine Eddins, Georgia Land Trust executive director, Pierre Howard, president of the Georgia Conservancy, and Jim Kilberg, senior vice president for real estate for Plum Creek.

The Georgia Land Trust safeguards watersheds, soil and water quality, and wildlife habitat across more than 102,000 acres through easements on private lands across the state of Georgia.