A First Step Near Glen Lake
From our 2008 Spring Newsletter
John (Chip) and Shirley Hoagland’s conservation easement donation is a great first step toward protecting the stunning forested ridgelines in private ownership overlooking Glen Lake. The Glen Lake couple made their donation at the end of 2007 on the 47 acres along Bow Road, land they had fallen in love with and purchased in 2003. Chip and Shirley worked with Conservancy Land Protection Specialist Matt Heiman over the next few years to create a conservation easement agreement that will help them meet their goals for the property. Among them: sustainable management of high quality hardwoods, protecting the critical view shed overlooking Glen Lake and retaining a spot to build a secluded home down in the woods off the ridgeline.
“We believe that you can build with great views without having to site on the top of a ridge,” says Chip. “We have a dream of demonstrating how this special landscape can be preserved while in private hands, and hope to have set a good example.”
Much of the land is comprised of high quality northern hardwoods, including several impressively large, mature, white oaks. The agreement also protects about seven acres of wetlands; five are along Bow Road and are part of the Hatlem Creek wetland complex. This special area is home to a healthy population of the endangered Michigan monkey flower. Under the conservation agreement, all of the wetlands will remain undisturbed to protect water quality and these sensitive ecosystems. Over time, the forested portions of the wetland will develop into pockets of old growth.
Another important feature of this land is the fact that it makes up a large part of a prominent ridgeline over looking Big Glen Lake. The eastern property line lies just 30 feet below the fabled ‘Top of the World’ historical landmark, which is documented in local history books as a scenic look out in the early 1900’s. Protecting the forested slopes along the scenic ridgeline will compliment the National Lakeshore property that lies across the lake.
The Hoagland’s can build one home in a wooded valley that will not compromise the scenic hillside views seen from Glen Lake. A forest management plan approved by the Conservancy directs when and where the woods can be cut in order to maximize the health of the forest for long term, high quality, sustainable forest production. The conservation easement protects this diverse hardwood forest’s scenic and ecological values while also promoting a sustainable harvest of the high quality forest products. “We know that good stewardship of forested uplands is critical to maintaining high water quality throughout the watershed,” adds Chip.