Every Friday we will  feature one of our easement landowners. These stories are updates on profiles written by Frank McIntosh.

When you own “the prettiest little mountain farm you ever saw,” and your work—raising pure-bred Salers Cattle— is the passion of your life, you start to think about how to protect a place.

Jo Colmore’s Walker County, GA. tract is one of the largest unbroken tracts in an area of increasing fragmentation of property. Located on top of Lookout Mountain, the land is “just full of hemlocks” and, according to Colmore, is the perfect spot for a home site and to raise his “momma cows.”

Jo Colmore with some of his Saler's Cattle

Jo Colmore with some of his Saler’s Cattle

Colmore has owned the property since 1967, when he and his brother got “a hankering to own some land.” After running a summer camp until 1983, Colmore turned to cattle breeding full-time. The calves he raises are sold to other cattle businesses for breeding purposes.

While his place is usually a portrait of tranquility, the mothers were weaning calves at the time of this interview. Colmore says it gets a little hectic during weaning but that “everyone calms down in a week or so.”

Like many donors, Colmore didn’t just leap into his conservation easement. He took his time, but came to the decision after taking in the miles of darkness untouched by electric lights. He realized it was time to “join this thing” and placed 115 acres of his property, including sensitive areas along Bear Creek, into a conservation easement.

Woodlands on the 115 acre easement

Woodlands on the 115 acre easement

Colmore enjoys sitting on his porch at night looking out at the pristine woodlands of his property and the nearby Cloudland Canyon State Park.

Advertisements