Rosalyn and Hank Abbott can now take comfort in the fact that the 96-acre property in Humphreys County they acquired with the purpose of “leaving it to Mother Nature” will be protected in perpetuity by The Land Trust for Tennessee.
The property is located on the divide between the Buffalo and Lower Duck Rivers, in the Western Highland Rim ecoregion of Tennessee. It is home to a diverse array of flora that is threatened by development elsewhere in Tennessee.
The property is hilly, with managed pine forests growing on ridge tops and deciduous forests occupying steeper slopes and lower areas. Old fields with mixtures of grasses, forbs, and shrubs exist along a Tennessee Valley Authority transmission line that crosses the property and in smaller areas that were cleared in the past. Savanna and grassland species, including post oak and Appalachian blazing star, occur in some areas.
The Abbotts specifically bought the land for the purpose of protecting this species diversity.
“We don’t like to see trees cut down,” said Rosalyn Abbott.
To achieve their goal of protecting the property, the Abbotts and The Land Trust for Tennessee closed on a legal agreement called a conservation easement to limit future development of the land. The agreement protects the scenic and natural attributes of the property, while also allowing the Abbotts to continue to own, manage and sell or pass the property to heirs in the future.
“We feel lucky to work with landowners who see how their land fits into the bigger picture and adds intrinsic value to Tennessee,” said Emily Parish, Vice President at The Land Trust for Tennessee. “The Abbotts truly understand the value in leaving their land undisturbed, and we are honored to help them protect it.”
The Land Trust for Tennessee’s role going forward is to ensure that the conservation easement is permanently upheld no matter who owns the land in the future, which is key to achieving the Abbott’s conservation goals.
“The Land Trust for Tennessee is a blessing for all Tennesseans,” said Hank Abbott. “The Dogwood Road tract currently hosts a mixture of new growth and relatively older, established trees, many of which appear to be hardwoods. Our goal in implementing the conservation easement is to allow Mother Nature to take over management of the site, giving wildlife a chance to flourish, while benefiting our community by cleaning the air and slowing precipitation runoff.”