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Leon County, Texas

25 Acres | September 23, 2010
Marc Ogden, donor
Conservation Easement

Rolling hills with lovely views in all directions, an ephemeral creek, springs, and a pond—and the nearest neighbor a mile away—these are among the features Marc Ogden loves about the 25-acre property in Leon County, Texas, which is now protected as a permanent wildlife sanctuary. Before Ogden purchased this land it was used for grazing, but knowing that nature would restore the land for wildlife if given a chance, he chose to “just let it sit and grow up for the past thirty years.” 

The Ogden Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 2010 with the donation of the land by Marc Ogden to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.  When he first contacted the Wildlife Land Trust, Mr. Ogden wanted to ensure that his property would be “protected in perpetuity as a wildlife habitat.”

The 30-acre property in Leon County, Texas, is now a permanent safe haven for wildlife.  It will never be developed and all commercial and recreational hunting and trapping are prohibited.   

The Ogden Wildlife Sanctuary features rolling hills covered with pines, hardwoods, oak and sweetgum trees.  There are open areas covered with grasses and a 1.5-acre pond fed by natural springs.  This water source is vital to the coyotes, beavers, raccoons, and opossums, as well as deer, rabbits and armadilloes.

Positioned on a migration flyway, the sanctuary serves as a stopover for painted buntings, hummingbirds, and others. In winter wood ducks, killdeer, red-shouldered hawks, woodpeckers, rubycrowned kinglets, cedar waxwings, Eastern towhees, white-crowned sparrows, and many others are present, and the nesting season brings an even larger array of species.

Luna moths also arrive in surprising numbers each spring, their luxuriously long wings working with the wind as they find their way to sweet gum trees in the bottomland forest. Ogden says he could easily spend half a day just wandering around the sanctuary, observing wildlife and enjoying the views and sounds. When logging companies approached him about timber, he quickly sought permanent protection for the land. 

Finding that some land trusts are only interested in larger properties, he kept searching until he found WLT, a choice that also ensures protection for the wildlife he loves. “It may not be a thousand acres,” says Ogden, “but the amount and variety of wildlife here is worthy of protecting.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust holds the title to this sanctuary.  That means HSWLT is responsible for all property taxes and maintenance costs for the property -- every year, forever.  In addition periodic inspections are made to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition.  These inspections, and the handling of any damage or destruction, cost heavily in professional staff time and travel expenses.

HSWLT has promised to keep this property as a 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.

Prairie Dogs Close-up

Prairie dogs are like a canary in the coal mine. If their population declines and dies, others will soon follow.

 

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