One property protects 26 acres of largely agricultural land, while the other includes three acres of mostly forested land. The two properties feature more than 3,200 feet of river and stream frontage, including 1,000 feet along the main stem of the Pigeon River, 2,000 feet on the West Fork of the Pigeon River, and 250 feet of a small tributary stream. By protecting these streamside areas from development, the landowners will help protect water quality for downstream farmers, the Towns of Canton and Clyde, Evergreen Packaging, trout, one species of rare fish, two species of rare freshwater mussels, and hellbender salamanders.
Both properties were protected through bargain-sale conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary and permanent agreement that limits certain development on a property in exchange for possible federal, state, and local tax benefits, a cash payment, or some combination.
“We are very grateful to the landowners and to all our partners for helping to protect our rural lands and waters,” said Dave Curphey, president of the Bethel Rural Community Organization. “We’re thrilled to know that these properties will forever contribute to Bethel’s rich rural heritage and high water quality.”