In 2018, MHLC is introducing you to some of our incredible community members: volunteers, easement landowners, donors, and more. This month, we talk to one of our easement landowners: Dud Crauer. Read below to learn more about Dud, his property, and the reasons he protected his land.
*Are you interested in placing a conservation easement on your property? Visit our Conserve Your Land page for more information!
When did you place an easement on your property?
The easement on the property was placed February 2007.
How did you decide to put a conservation easement on your property?
My neighbor, Lloyd Hagen, expressed his concern that a number of large properties in West Glenville, held by families for several generations and no longer being used for agriculture, are prime targets for housing developments which would negatively impact the rural nature of West Glenville.
Our modest property, located at the southern mouth of Wolf Hollow (one of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Priority Areas) has unique geological, ecological, and historical significance. For example, Wolf Hollow was an ancient trail used for centuries by Native Americans to travel from the Mohawk River to the upper Hudson. The battle in 1669 at “Kinaquariones” between the Mohawks and Algonquins was savagely fought here, resulting in many primitive artifacts found. We still have occasional Native Americans visitors who come and reflect on their forefathers.
With respect to earlier civilizations and protecting the natural wonder of the area, we hoped a conservation easement would also inspire our neighbors and other landowners to do the same.
How would you describe the process of creating an easement?
The process of creating an easement was easier than initially perceived given the assistance, patience, and professionalism of the MHLC staff. When questions among family members arise regarding how we can achieve our wish to preserve the “family farm,” yet continue our lifestyle, MHLC volunteer and easement expert Hank Stebbins, Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator Sawyer Cresap, and Executive Director Mark King have always responded promptly and professionally. It is indeed gratifying and reassuring to have the MHLC team share your passion.
What do you wish more people knew about protecting their property with a local land trust?
Landowners, unfamiliar with land trusts, fear ‘giving up’ their right of choice. I’ve heard “I don’t want someone telling me what I can do.” They do not understand that the Conservancy protects that which they hold dear for future generations to respect and enjoy as they have.
Why do you support land conservation (both generally and locally here in the Capital Region)?
I support land conservation because my generation has witnessed the misuse and overdevelopment of our earth’s resources: global warming, oil spills, plastic particles in our food and drinking water, whole species of birds and wildlife exterminated….Shall I go on?
Mother Earth gives us life. If we do not respect and take care of Her, mankind will also be eliminated. We should take a lesson from Native Americans, “The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth”.
I leave it to all of us to consider: If not us, who? If not now, when?