March / April 2011
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Member Highlight
Black Swamp Conservancy

While the Black Swamp Conservancy works to preserve natural areas and agricultural land, it doesn’t manage parks or build boardwalks. The conservancy preserves and protects land by helping the current landowners create voluntary land conservation agreements. Such an agreement – known as a conservation easement - allows a farmer to ensure that his or her land will always remain agricultural, or that a wetland on a landowner’s property will never be built on, even if the land is sold.

The Black Swamp Conservancy (BSC) was started in 1993 by a group of citizens concerned about the rate of development in rural northwest Ohio. They formed the conservancy as one way to protect and enhance the best remaining natural and agricultural areas in this region and promote responsible stewardship of the land. BSC expects to reach a milestone this year, with more than 10,000 acres of land permanently protected since the group was formed.

Like TMACOG, the conservancy has a reach throughout northwest Ohio. Most of their protected property is in Fulton, Henry, Lucas and Wood counties, with some protected properties as far as the Indiana border, and including the Lake Erie Islands and Ottawa County. The conservancy also has easements as far away as Hardin County.

BSC maintains its membership in TMACOG as one element of its communications strategy. Executive Director Kevin Joyce states: "We protect farmland and natural areas across northwest Ohio and maintaining relationships with public officials is critical. TMACOG membership is the best way for our Conservancy to stay connected to government agencies and officials from across the region.”

The conservancy is a private non-profit, non-partisan organization. Its operations are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations.


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