FAYETTEVILLE -- Northwest Arkansas Land Trust on Tuesday announced the establishment of a 580-acre conservation easement in Crawford County in collaboration with landowners Philip and Rebecca Thompson.
The Thompsons purchased the property aiming to protect wildlife habitat, water quality and preserve scenic views, according to a news release.
The property is part of the Boston Mountains Scenic Wildlife Corridor, a priority area for the land trust where a substantial block of U.S. Forest Service land is located. Recognizing the importance of connectivity among these landscapes lacking permanent protection, the land trust has been working to establish conservation linkages. This property is a vital component of this effort, situated within a corridor of privately owned land alongside Interstate 49, nestled between the Forest Service lands to the east and west, according to the release.
"That part of I-49 is famously scenic, and the Land Trust's conservation easement that is now in place will ensure that the mountain remains open space in perpetuity, either as privately owned land or until it becomes part of a state park, a national forest, or other protected land," said Rebecca Thompson.
The conserved property also encompasses two headwater streams that flow into Clear Creek, a major tributary to Frog Bayou.
"Everyone who owns undeveloped land in Northwest Arkansas should seriously consider initiating a conservation easement with NWALT. The property owner retains broad discretion regarding how it is used, including agricultural and recreational use, and even construction of a new home. It's definitely a 'win-win' arrangement," Philip Thompson said.