Duck Derby 2015 grew a crowd to Terrapin Creek last Saturday.  Duck adoptions were brisk and even a little rain did not dampen the spirits of the kids playing in the Modern Woodmen Financial Kidz Zone. The Land Trust raised around $1,700 in duck adoptions and t-shirt sales for the Terrapin Creek cleanup project plus another $4,000 was received from a grant from Wells Fargo. The money will be used to create a map of the creek and carry-in carry-out bags for garbage. It’s the whole idea about leaving nothing but footprints when you make memories in the great outdoors.

Crowd gathers for Duck Derby 2015

Crowd gathers for Duck Derby 2015

The end of the race was exciting with some ducks leading and then getting caught in the rocks, but the winner was duck #76 adopted by Landon Burrage and he wins the kayak.  Other prize winners included, Morgan Lavender, Wade Townsend, Sonya Owens, Ryan McRae, and Bill Fuqua.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors and prize donors. They include the following:

Modern Woodmen Financial

Terrapin Outdoor Center

Redneck Yacht Club and Kayak Rental

Kids waiting on the Ducks to cross the finish line

Kids waiting on the Ducks to cross the finish line

Floating Fun.net

Piedmont Hardware

Solid Rock Cafe’

Friends of the Terrapin

Kidz Zone banner

Kidz Zone banner


Mini Kayak Races

Mini Kayak Races








Ducks near the finish line

Ducks near the finish line

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

Six generations of Stanleys have worked land in Georgia’s Toombs and Tattnall counties, and another generation is learning to love the land and how to work it.

The Stanley family has been living and farming in the Toombs County area longer than there has been a Toombs County and almost as long as Tattnall has been a county. The history of the Stanleys is their work on the land, including the 1,635-acre tract in Tattnall the family preserved in 2009 with a conservation easement held by the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust.

SIx generations: L-R, Bryan, Terry, Vince and R.T. Stanley

Six generations: L-R, Bryan, Terry, Vince and R.T. Stanley

“I started out sharecropping with my great uncle,” R.T. Stanley says. It was sharecropping that helped strengthen his determination to own land. “As I was growing up, I always wanted to buy land and own it. It’s in my blood. It’s always better to own it; you never know what will happen when you lease it.” The land in the conservation easement features around two miles of frontage on the Ohoopee River.

“The downturn in the economy was a two-edged sword. It hurt some people, but it helped make this tract available,” says R.T., whose sons Vince, Brian and Tracy joined him in donating the easement. “Buying this tract is the biggest transaction in my life; it’s a big step—a big chance to take.”

All the Stanleys agree that it was a chance worth taking. “It’s just so big and diverse,” Vince says. “There are a couple of hundred acres of longleaf and wiregrass, and we planted another 150 acres of longleaf. There’s a variety of hunting and fishing, and the land is good.”

Good indeed: 43 percent of the property is rated either prime soil or soil of statewide importance. Almost 300 acres are highly desirable for production of sweet Vidalia onions. In addition to growing the onions, the Stanleys now operate Vidalia Valley Farms, which produces Vidalia Valley Onion® products, including salad dressings, barbecue sauce and even a Vidalia Onion Slow Burn Peach Hot Sauce®.

When asked who created the recipes for the sauces, Vince reports that he liked combining his entrepreneurial and culinary abilities. Who created the recipes? Vince says simply, “I did.” His inspiration? “Well, I do like to make money. And they taste real good, too.”

Bottomland along the Ohoopee

Bottomland along the Ohoopee

The Stanleys’ conservation easement with the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust will ensure that the family will always have a place, not only to continue working the land, but also to gather the family in some of their favorite pursuits. Much of the property is used for hunting and abounds with deer, dove, and turkey. It also features man-made ponds that support healthy populations of bass and white perch.

Vince says, “Working with the Land Trust, we feel like we covered everything. We kept changing the easement around a good bit and got it where it was a win-win. We can continue using the land, mixing in food plots, timber and crops on a lot of the property, but there are over 140 acres of 100-year old bottomlands that will never be touched.”

And even more important to the sixth generation of Stanleys is what the conservation easement means to the seventh generation. “Now, we know our kids will grow up on this land. They love to go out on it with us.”

Vidalia Valley Farms

Stanley Farms





The Georgia Land Trust has a job opening for the position of Conservation Planner.  The Planner (CP) will work for the Georgia Land Trust, Inc. under a cooperative agreement with Fort Stewart to assist in the administration of the Army Compatible Use Program (ACUB).  The CP will be located in GLT’s Savannah office and work directly with the ACUB Program Manager and other GLT staff.

Salary is commensurate with experience and full benefits will be available. Please send a cover letter and resume to kmalloy@galandtrust.org.  No phone calls please.  Please reference “Conservation Planner” in your Subject line.  Please click the link for a full job description. Conservation Planner_Job Description_KM_30Jan13

Good News for conservationists and farmers. Congress’ “fiscal cliff” deal renewed a tax incentive for private landowners—especially working family farmers and ranchers—who protect their land with a voluntary conservation agreement. The incentive, which had expired at the end of 2011, helped the Alabama Land Trust and the Georgia Land Trust work with willing landowners in our community to conserve 31 thousand acres of productive agricultural lands and natural areas  for 2012.

Conservation-minded landowners now have until December 31, 2013 to take advantage of a significant tax deduction for donating a voluntary conservation agreement to permanently protect important natural or historic resources on their land. When landowners donate a conservation easement tot The Land Trusts, they maintain ownership and management of their land and can sell or pass the land on to their heirs, while foregoing future development rights.

The enhanced incentive applies to a landowner’s federal income tax. The new incentive:

  • Raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a voluntary conservation agreement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%;
  • Allows farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and
  • Increases the number of  years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.

“Our whole community wins when thoughtful landowners conserve their land this way, protecting wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, scenic landscapes, recreational spaces, and productive agricultural lands,” said Katherine Eddins, the Land Trusts Executive Director. “Conservation agreements have become an important tool nationally for protecting our watersheds, farms and forests, increasing the pace of private land conservation by a third – to over a million acres a year. The Land Trust joins over 1,700 other land trusts across the country and their two million supporters in thanking Congress for making this important conservation tool available,” she said.

Alabama Land Trust conservation easement donor Dr. Ann Pearson has been awarded the Alabama Historical Commission’s Roy Swayze Award for outstanding achievement by a private owner in the restoration and preservation of a major Alabama landmark, Noble Hall in Auburn.

Noble Hall in Auburn, historic home and 100 acres are protected by an Alabama Land Trust conservation easement

Located on Shelton Mill Road in Auburn, Noble Hall was constructed between 1852-1854 on a 2,000-acre plantation. Dr. Pearson recently preserved 100 acres of land and the structure in a conservation easement held by Alabama Land Trust, ensuring that the land and home will be preserved for generations.

Dr. Pearson, an author, former English professor, and granddaughter of a former Auburn University president Dr. Luther Noble Duncan for whom Noble Hall is named, is an Alabama Land Trust conservation easement donor and supporter. She makes her home in historic Noble Hall and often hosts heritage and historic preservation events there.

According to the National Register, Noble Hall is a Greek Revival rock and mortar house built by Addison Frazer (1809-1873) between 1852 and 1854 and served as the center for a 2,000 acre cotton plantation. Frazer was on the Board of Trustees of Auburn Masonic Female College and East Alabama Male College. Noble Hall has eight rooms with 12 foot high ceilings and 18 inch exterior walls, two cantilever balconies and eight Doric columns. In the rear are the original separate kitchen, carriage-smokehouse and overseer’s house. The Frazer family owned the house until 1922.

In 1932, J. V. Brown, Head of Buildings and Grounds at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, bought the house and began restoration. In 1941, he sold it and 251 acres to Dr. Luther Noble Duncan (1875-1947), who served as president of A.P.I. (1935-1947). In 1943 his daughter, Elizabeth Pearson (Mrs. Allen M.), and family occupied the house and continued restoration. Mrs. Pearson inherited the house in 1951, collected its furnishings and named it Nobel Hall. In 1972 it was the first building in Lee County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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.

We are pleased that both major candidates for governor in Alabama, like us, support the renewal of Alabama Forever Wild as is.

According to an article in The Birmingham News today, both candidates for Alabama governor, Democrat Ron Sparks and Republican Robert Bentley said Thursday that they will support the reauthorization of the state land preservation program, Forever Wild.

Speaking at Samford University to a conference organized by the environmental group Auntie Litter, the candidates delivered speeches on a range of environmental issues.

Bentley, currently representing Tuscaloosa in the Alabama House, specifically addressed a dispute that arose in the last session over Forever Wild, a program enacted by voters in 1992 which receives a portion of the interest on the oil and gas royalties and buys land for ecological preservation and public recreation. That program is up for reauthorization by the Legislature, but in the last session a counter proposal, advanced by the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, that would have diverted a portion of that money to a farm preservation program and to the Soil and Water Conservation Service.

Alluding to that proposal, Bentley said he supported reauthorization of Forever Wild in its current form and at its current funding level. Sparks, the state agriculture commissioner, didn’t mention the Alfa counter proposal, but said he supported Forever Wild’s continuation at its current level of funding.

here is link to news article:http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/08/gubernatorial_candidates_suppo.html

To read more about the effort to keep Alabama Forever Wild funding and protecting Alabama’s special places for public use, go to:


Bear Creek in Walker County, Ga., part of protected land in OSI-funded project in northwest Georgia.

 A recent report by The Open Space Institute highlights conservation work in northwest Georgia, a success story in which Georgia Land Trust played a major role.

Here is the link to the publication, Protecting the Best: Wildlife Habitat Conservation in Northwest Georgia, which outlines the work of the  Northwest Georgia Land Protection Fund, created in 2007 in part with capital contributions from the Lyndhurst and Benwood foundations.

The fund provided grants and loans to protect ecologically significant landscapes in a million-acre region in the northwest corner of Georgia, a center of biodiversity in the southern Appalachians. Several of the resulting permanent conservation easements were completed by Georgia Land Trust.

We at Georgia Land Trust are excited and proud to be a part of this successful program, managed by OSI and funded by top conservation Foundations.

Targeting projects identified on Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan, the fund disbursed $1.7 million in grants and $408,000 in loans to land trusts and state agencies to protect 5,300 acres. Every dollar invested by the fund was matched by 12 additional dollars from land trusts and supportive landowners.

In introducing the report, Peter Howell, executive vice president for The Open Space Institute, said that Protecting the Best: Wildlife Habitat Conservation in Northwest Georgia illustrates how philanthropy can be effective through focus, leverage, and collaboration. It also highlights what it takes to achieve success on the ground and how much more there is to accomplish— not just in northwest Georgia, but elsewhere in the southern Appalachian.

He also said the Northwest Georgia Land Protection Fund provides a proven and replicable model, and the vision and perseverance of conservation groups—including those profiled in the Fund Summary—inspire hope that success will not be confined to northwest Georgia alone.

Read more about OSI’s conservation efforts at www.osiny.org.



Here, Deputy Director Mark Pentecost and Executive Director Katherine Eddins present Jared with a plaque in recognition of his contributions to the Land Trusts success.

Jared Williamson, who worked as administrative assistant at the Alabama Land Trust office in Piedmont since January of 2008, is leaving the Land Trust team to join the Engineering Department at the State of Alabama Department of Transportation. His wife, Jamie M. Williamson, is joining the staff as administrative assistant.

Jared, who has experience in civil engineering, drafting and surveying, will work out of the Oneonta DOT office, covering all of Blount, Walker and Marshall counties.

Jared and Jamie live in North Gadsden with their daughters Kami Ray, almost 2, and Kensie, 3 months.

The administrative assistant position serves the Alabama Land Trust and Georgia Land Trust in maintaining essential files and records on conservation easements, monitoring and management, in addition to assorted other office duties.

The staff of ALT and GLT gathered June 3 to wish Jared well and welcome Jamie with a dinner in their honor.

Check out the newest edition of the Alabama Land Trust and Georgia Land Trust Newsletter, for Spring 2010.  Supporters receive their copies in the mail this week.

Let us know if you are interested in receiving this newsletter, and we will add you to the list. To let us know, comment here, or Facebook us.

2-ALGLT NL Spring_2010_non-paginateSMALL-12APR2010 pmd

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