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Angels Camp, California

109 Acres | May 13, 2010
Ordway Living Trust, donor
Conservation Easement

In May 2010, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust accepted a conservation easement to protect the Grace Flint Wildlife Sanctuary from the Ordway Living Trust.  This is the second property that the Ordway Living Trust has entrusted to HSWLT. This conservation easement, as all easements accepted by the HSWLT, permanently prohibits recreational and commercial hunting and trapping, destructive logging practices and further development of the property.

Small ridges and gently rolling hills give way to level savannah extending westward on the Grace Flint Wildlife Sanctuary. Protected in memory of Edward Ordway’s mother, Grace Flint Ordway, these 109 acres of varied habitat are teeming with life. Wild turkeys forage in fields as red-tailed hawks soar overhead. Songbirds, butterflies, small mammals, and deer find food and shelter in small stands of mature oaks, and a pond and natural springs provide water for all.

Claudia Jackson, Ordway’s life partner, describes the sanctuary as peaceful and delightful, especially in summer, because of the many bird species nesting there. “You’re in another world,” she says, “away from everything, but still close to what you need.” Ordway realized that the land’s beauty and highly desirable location meant that it would soon be developed if he did not find a way to permanently protect it. He chose to establish the land as a permanent wildlife sanctuary to honor his mother, who always loved nature, and his meaningful tribute to her life will forever help wild animals seeking safe homes in which to raise their young.

The sanctuary lies in Calaveras County, which has been rated as one of top five rural areas in United States to live, based on USDA Economic Research Service Survey.  The surrounding area includes residential development, rangeland and farms, and federal land held by the Bureau of Land Management.  Despite the current recession, this area is expected to experience increased development and recreation pressure. 

The federal BLM land enhances the protection value of property.  A report by the Calaveras County Hardwood Committee in 1993 identified the oak savanna such as is found on the Ordway tract as having particularly high ecological value,"... providing extremely high diversity in flora and fauna."

Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

Cougar Close-up

The cougar once roamed all of North America, human persecution has now almost completely eradicated this predator.

 

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