ORANGE COUNTY (May 2, 2018) - The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the acquisition of two more conservation easements during its May 1 meeting. These agreements will protect an additional 79 acres of land along the Upper Eno River Corridor.
The acquisition of conservation easements to protect highly important natural and cultural resource lands in Orange County is a longstanding goal of the Board of Commissioners, and is a priority of the Lands Legacy program.
Since 2001, the County has partnered with landowners and other entities to protect 2,313 acres of significant natural areas and prime farmland with permanent conservation easements, leveraging over $3 million in outside funding and grants toward these easements.
"It's worth celebrating that we continue to do this and that we continue to find multiple partners," said Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs. "It's an example of how successful the Lands Legacy Program is, and how important it is."
In June 2017, the Board approved County funding assistance for two purchases by the Eno River Association (ERA), which received funding from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to acquire the 56.3-acre Iski Property and the 22.7-acre Hobgood Property.
On June 6, 2017, a grant agreement between Orange County and the ERA was executed, awarding ERA $63,655 for the Iski Property purchase and $121,200 for the Hobgood Property purchase, contingent upon the closing of the properties by ERA and agreed upon terms of conservation easements to be held by Orange County.
ERA has now closed on both properties and intends to grant permanent conservation easements on both properties to Orange County that restrict future development, protect forest and water resources, and help maintain rural character.