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Ashland, Oregon

154 Acres | September 30, 2010
Faye Weisler, donor
Conservation Easement

In September 2010, Faye Weisler donated a conservation easement to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on her 154-acre property in Ashland, Oregon. The Greensprings Wildlife Sanctuary is now a permanently protected wildlife habitat.

Set within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the Greensprings Wildlife Sanctuary and its wildlife are now protected by Wildlife Land Trust. The area is noted for its biodiversity, and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail -- which extends some 2,500 miles, connecting Canada and Mexico -- traverses the sanctuary for one mile. Though high-grade logging had taken place on the property before Faye Weisler purchased it, the sweeping vistas from the summit answered her desire for space and peace and inspired her to buy the land and give it a chance to recover.

Weisler immediately felt a sense of home on the land, which she has hiked often, accompanied by her two rescued dogs. She also enjoyed encountering hikers on the trail and exchanging stories of wildlife seen along the way. The land is likewise home and a safe travel corridor for wildlife. A coyote dens near the pond. A black bear pads through the meadow. Mountain lions yowl at night. And cougar, bobcats, deer and elk use the sanctuary as a land bridge between mountain ranges.

Songbirds, woodpeckers, eagles, peregrine falcons, hawks, and great gray owls flourish here, and a seasonal pond attracts sandhill cranes -- including a memorable pair that Weisler saw take to the air in unison when they were startled. Each flew off in a different direction, but by calling out and making short flights toward one another, they quickly reunited.

Spring and summer wildflowers sweep over the land in shifting waves of color and composition -- Douglas’s violets, Balsam daisies, Waterleaf sheltering delicate pink blossoms beneath their leaves, the pinks and purples of Wild delphiniums, Calypso orchids -- attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

“I knew in my heart that I wanted to protect the land for wildlife, to know that they would have this refuge forever,” says Weisler, noting that she specifically looked for a land trust that would protect wildlife from hunting and trapping. “There are things for each one of us that rise to a certain level of importance,” she says, “This just wasn’t a choice. This land absolutely had to be protected in perpetuity for the animals, for the hikers, and for the people living close to it.”

Without adequate habitat, wildlife lacks the shelter, food and security necessary to survive. HSWLT sanctuaries serve as “Shelters without Walls®” for free-roaming animals.

Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, HSWLT 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.

Black bears Close-up

Many assume that bears are exclusively meat eaters while, in fact, plant foods make up the bulk of their diet.

 

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