WWC Booth at Harvest Home Fair
WWC at the Junction Trailfest, Milford
Sept. 16 Delhi Floral Paradise Garden Opening Event
Sept. 17, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River
Paddle, co-sponsored by WWC
Sept. 23, 7 p.m. “Whooo’s Watching Whooo?” Night Hike
Great Outdoor Weekend event
Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. WWC Board Meeting
Oct. 12-15 Land Trust Alliance Rally, Nashville, TN
Oct. 21, 2 p.m. Delshire Preserve Fall Foliage Hike
Oct. 29, 12:30 p.m. Fall Foliage & Ohio River
View Hike, Bender Forest
Nov. 4, 9 a.m. Bender Forest Hike & Restoration
Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. WWC Holiday Party & Brief Board Meeting
We Need Help! Identifying Property Protection Opportunities Three years ago we were able to protect a beautiful area of forested hillside because of a “tip” passed along by one of our members. He knew the property owner and thought we should give her a call about protecting her property. Well, as they say, the rest is history; Mrs. Elsie Beekley gave a Conservation Easement on her property to Western Wildlife Corridor, thus protecting a beautiful forested hillside overlooking the Rapid Run Creek valley.
This only happened because of a personal contact who was able to arrange a meeting between WWC and the property owner. This is the best way to identify possible opportunities to protect property in our corridor.
If you personally know anyone who owns greenspace in our corridor, please let us know. Give us a call at 513 921 9453. We’ll be happy to follow up and arrange a meeting with the property owner to explain who Western Wildlife Corridor is and to describe to them the benefits of working with us to protect their property as greenspace.
There are several factors that make this an especially propitious time for reaching out to property owners. First, we have hired an expert to develop a rating scheme for properties in our corridor. Very soon we will have a map showing all properties in the Western Wildlife Corridor and giving an overall rating for most of them. A high rating indicates property that we should focus our protection efforts on.
Secondly, we have wonderful new promotional materials developed for us by a PR professional working with an artist. These describe property protection benefits in a very understandable way – how could anyone resist!
And, last but not least, the Federal Government has changed the regulations regarding tax benefits for Conservation Easement donations. It is important to note that these new regulations only apply to easements donated in 2006 and 2007. It is now more beneficial than ever for an individual to donate a Conservation Easement to an organization like WWC.
So, now is the time to act. Please help us out by telling us about anyone you know of who may want to work with Western Wildlife Corridor to protect their property. Again, that number is 513 921 9453.
Western Wildlife Corridor Board of Trustees
Tim Sisson, President
Bruce Cortwright, Vice President
Robert Thomas, Treasurer
Leesa Miller, Secretary
Land Trust Alliance Update
August 3, 2006 the Congress approved a tremendous expansion of the federal conservation
tax incentive for conservation easement donations. Conservation easements are
one tool that land trusts like WWC, use to protect land for future generations.
On August 17, the President signed it into law. This is a great victory for conservation!
• Raises the deduction a landowner can take
for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%.
• Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers
to deduct up to 100% of their income.
• Extends the carry-forward period for
a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5
to 15 years.
The Land Trust Alliance
points out that this only applies to easements donated in 2006 and 2007 and plans
to work hard to make this change permanent.
bill also includes sensible reforms that affect the appraisal process for all
donated property and tighten the rules for easements on historic buildings.
little more than a year ago, the land trust community was working hard to defend
against proposals by the Joint Committee on Taxation to end tax incentives for
an amazing year for land conservation!
Land Trust Accreditation Program
Beginning in 2008, the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) will offer a voluntary accreditation program to member and non-member land trusts. Accreditation will provide enhanced credibility, respect, and confidence from donors, partners, and members. Accreditation will provide a
guarantee that Land Trust Standards and Practices issued from LTA are being followed. Going through the review process will also help land trusts streamline operations and lead to more effective land conservation. As a current member of LTA, Western Wildlife Corridor complies with the LTA Land Trust Standards and Practices. Accreditation will provide independent review of this compliance and verify WWC implementation of 42 specific practices that indicate our ability to operate in an ethical, legal, and technically sound manner as well as ensure the long-term protection of land in the public interest. LTA is currently working to establish the procedures for accreditation and will test these procedures in 2007 with an initial round of application. LTA will also offer curriculum to help land trusts achieve success in accreditation.
For more information on land trusts and the accreditation program please visit www.lta.org
I K E S
Sat. Oct. 21 2 p.m. Delshire
Preserve Fall Foliage Hike This easy 1-1 ½ hour
hike will trek through one of the large portions of this preserve that are completely
free of invasive plants. Meet at Delhi Swim Club - 202 Felicia Drive in Delhi
(off Pedretti). Led by Tim Sisson.
Oct. 29 12:30 p.m. Bender Forest Fall Foliage and Ohio River View Hike We
will cross Rapid Run Creek, noting the shale and limestone layers of the creek
wall. Then we’ll hike uphill through old growth forest and experience what the
forest may have been like in the 1700s, when the first settlers came into the
area, looking for traces of old homesites along the way. At the top, there should
be enough leaves down for a panoramic view of the Ohio River with plenty of photo
opportunities. Sturdy shoes suggested, as the hike is moderate with uphill walking
and shallow creek crossing. We will cross the property that was recently turned
over to Delhi Parks and Recreation. Meet at pulloff on Bender Rd, six tenths of
a mile from River Rd. (not the bus turnaround). Call Leesa Miller 513 941-1628
for information on either of these hikes.
Sept. 23 7 p.m. Story Woods Park Whooo’s Watching Whooo? Great
Outdoor Weekend Event sponsored by WWC, R&R Animal Tracking and Delhi Parks
and Recreation WWC is participating again
this year in this city-wide weekend of outdoor activities. (Schedule of events
booklet available.) The evening will begin with refreshments and snacks. WWC will
give a brief overview of land conservation and its value in providing a natural
habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species. The hike, led by William
Reichling of R&R Animal Tracking, will begin by searching for clues of wildlife.
Be prepared for anything as we enter the mysterious nocturnal world of Story Woods
Park. Two hike levels will be available; a moderate hike for the more adventurous
and an easy hike designed for families. Help is needed with refreshments and WWC
booth display. Call Mona Weiner to volunteer, 513 941-6307, or Leesa Miller at
513 941-1628 for more information. Meet at main shelter. Story Woods Park is off
V E N T S
Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River Paddle Four Seasons Marina at Fernbank Park WWC is co-sponsoring this event organized by Ohio River Way and Ohio River Foundation. Call Brewster Rhoads at 513 324-1678 for more information about the paddling event. Volunteers are needed to help with refreshments and display booth in the afternoon as paddlers pull out of the water at Fernbank. Call Mona Weiner at 513 941-6307 to volunteer.
Save the Date! Tues. Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. WWC Holiday Party Announcements will be mailed.
events November 4 9 a.m. Bender Woods Hike & Forest Restoration This has been called the “best old growth forest in Hamilton County.”
See for yourself why this is true and help us as we remove alien plants to make
it even better! Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River Paddle
Four Seasons Marina to Fernbank Park WWC is co-sponsoring
this event organized by Ohio River Way and Ohio River Foundation. Volunteers are
needed to help with refreshments and display booth in the afternoon as paddlers
pull out of the water at Fernbank. Harvest
Home Fair Sept 8-10 We will be reaching
a large number of people using our new display and materials. What we need most
is people who love the WWC area and want others to know about protecting it. That’s
the only qualification. Volunteer for one hour, or three, or whatever you can
offer. The Junction Trailfest also Sept
8-10 If you happen to go to this first annual
celebration of hiking trails in Milford, look for our representative, Alan Weiner,
who will be handing out WWC brochures. www.thejunctiontrailfest.org To volunteer
at any of these events, please call Mona Weiner at 513 941-6307
Booth Was A Success Early in the day, kids
from area day camps stopped by to have a red cave salamander stamped on their
arm, which they decorated with washable black markers. Later in the day, we had
interested adult nature enthusiasts and even some old friends stopped by. Tim
Sisson, Beverly Sharp, and Leesa Miller worked the booth, and Leesa’s daughter,
Katie helped with the stamps.
Salamanders: Colorful Critters in Small Spaces
Jerry Lippert, Hub Naturalist at Winton Woods, Hamilton County Park District
Throughout most of their range,
Cave Salamanders are found around the entrances to caves. Hence, their name!
However, in Hamilton County, they are not found in caves. The reason for this
is simple: There are no caves in Hamilton County! But the lack of caves has
not prevented the Cave Salamander from thriving within certain areas here, namely,
in what could be called mini-caves. Our local creeks are filled with limestone
rocks--some large, some small, sometimes piled on top of each other, often with
eroded crevices. The spaces within and between these limestone rocks can be
thought of as mini-caves. Cave Salamanders are using this habitat during the
warmer months. Some of the spaces they use are only 3/8” high, but may be 6
– 8” wide, or sometimes much wider, especially when one large rock is piled
on top of another with space between. Here, they find plenty to eat. Cave Crickets,
flies, pillbugs, other insects and arthropods also use the crevices, sometimes ending up in a Cave Salamander’s belly.
During colder months, the salamanders retreat to underground spring sites, limestone
sinkholes, and other underground rocky retreats which mimic cave habitat. Colorwise,
cave salamanders are like a combination of the Bengal tiger and Snow Leopard.
They are bright orange with a sprinkling of irregularlyspaced black spots -
a striking contrast. Since Cave Salamanders are strikingly colored and are a
truly local mascot, why didn’t our local pro football team go with a catchy
moniker like the Cincinnati Cave Salamanders instead of the Bengals? At only
7” maximum length, these amphibians aren’t exactly menacing, but they would
make a beautiful mascot! Still, Cave Salamanders haven’t worked the public relations
game as well as Bengal Tigers and other charismatic megafauna. The big animals
get lots of press and make high profile appearances at zoos and Las Vegas shows.
Cave Salamanders are more aptly described as charismatic minifauna. They have
a captivating appearance, but are tiny compared to a Bengal Tiger and most people
don’t even know they exist. In Ohio they are only known from 3 counties: Hamilton,
Butler, and Adams. Although considered endangered in Ohio, Cave Salamanders
occur in many places in the western half of our county. Thankfully, there is
much protected habitat for them within Hamilton County Park District parks and
natural areas such as those protected by the Western Wildlife Corridor. Perhaps
someday, you’ll be rooting for your veryown Cincinnati Cave Salamanders football
team in the Super Bowl!
Special thanks to Hamilton County Parks for contributing this article, and to Wayne Wauligman for the photo!