Open space protected in Brown’s Canyon
Two local nonprofits announced this week that they teamed up to create 62 acres of permanent open space in Brown’s Canyon.
Summit Land Conservancy worked with Nuzzles & Co. (formerly Friends of Animals Utah) over the past year to create a conservation easement on the land parcel owned by Nuzzles & Co. and adjacent to its Rescue Ranch.
The mechanism for the permanent protection of the land is a conservation easement, recorded on the deed of the property.
Cheryl Fox, Summit Land Conservancy’s executive director, said conservation easement projects typically take longer than a year to complete, but a donor, who wishes to stay anonymous, stepped up.
"From our point of view this was really a quick one. Most times it takes us about two years to close on an easement deal, and that’s because we have to raise so much money. And so in this situation, to be able to close the deal in under a year, it’s because Nana B basically was very generous and facilitated this from a variety of points of view."
"Nana B" is the anonymous donor. Her grandchildren decided to name the newly protected lands "Nana B’s Preserve."
"Now the two organizations will be able to work together to protect the land and animals from encroaching development, ensuring a better healing environment for the animals," Nana B said in a statement issued by the nonprofits. "At the same time, the natural land and habitat for wild animals and the wide open view will be protected for future generations."
Fox said there are transactional costs in an easement transaction — surveys and legal fees, for example — but the most significant costs will be with the continual oversight of the land.
"The real way that you protect property forever is that you have a third party, which in this case is the Summit Land Conservancy, that goes out every year and checks it out. Because the land can’t speak for itself," Fox said. "So we put aside funding every time we get a conservation easement that ensures that we can continue to have a relationship with the current landowner and subsequent landowners. Which is the best way to make sure everything is good, because then everybody knows what’s permitted or not on the property. We can send people out, we can do restoration, we can do enhancements."
For Nuzzles & Co., the biggest benefit is ensuring some open space between its Rescue Ranch and surrounding development.
"Now our animals have a quiet buffer from nearby quarries and future development where they can be healthy, happy and peaceful while they are with us. Our Rescue Ranch is enhanced forever," said Kathleen Toth, Nuzzles & Co.’s president.
The nonprofits’ missions dovetail nicely.
"We’re just super excited," Fox said. "We all here have our rescued pets This was a great partnership."
"A big thanks to Nana B and a big thanks to our members who make this kind of thing possible," she said.
Anita Lewis, Brent Ovard and Travis English were influential in shaping how residents interact with the county.