Reviewed by: Pat Byington
Freshwater Land Trust recently closed on a conservation easement in the Cahaba River watershed that was acquired from The University of Alabama. The 21.5-acre easement located downstream from FLT’s Grants Mill canoe launch includes almost 1,500 ft. of the Cahaba.
What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is a legal agreement that restricts the uses of a particular area of land in the effort to protect it for future generations. The Cahaba River, according to Alabama’s State Wildlife Action Plan, is designated critical habitat for eight federally protected mussel species, and it contains 44 aquatic species of greatest conservation need.
Freshwater Land Trust will regularly visit the property to ensure its conservation efforts are upheld. Maintaining the river’s habitat will reduce erosion and sedimentation, the primary pollutant in the Southeast’s waterways.
“These waters along a quarter mile of river frontage are bordered by pristine forest and provide a glimpse of the unspoiled beauty prior to development. The University’s faith in the Freshwater Land Trust was crucial in determining who could properly monitor this conservation easement in the future. We are proud of this protected watershed and the partnership with the Freshwater Land Trust.”Rob Cooper, Executive Director of University Lands and Real Estate Services at The University of Alabama
FLT & University of Alabama’s conservation efforts
The acquisition is part of FLT’s mission to expand the conservation of Alabama nature and wildlife, which currently includes over 8,000 acres of conserved land across the state.
“The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama has protected this property for generations and recently made a lasting commitment to continue this stewardship promise in perpetuity. The Cahaba River has an abundance of aquatic and vegetative qualities unique to Alabama.”Rob Cooper, Executive Director of University Lands and Real Estate Services at The University of Alabama
One of the state’s most crucial bodies of water, this partnership between FLT and the University of Alabama protects banks on both sides of the river and a tributary system.
“This partnership with The University of Alabama is an exciting opportunity to increase our protection efforts on the Cahaba River.”Liz Sims, Freshwater Land Trust Land Conservation Director
How to conserve with Freshwater Land Trust
For more information on conserving land with Freshwater Land Trust, visit: https://freshwaterlandtrust.org/what-we-do/conservation/