Randall Derror's property

Randall Derror's 199-acre Richland County property three miles south of Lucas is now part of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

MANSFIELD -- With a strong conservation ethic, Randall Derror recently worked with the nonprofit Western Reserve Land Conservancy to permanently conserve his 199-acre Richland County property with a donated conservation easement.

This marks the Land Conservancy’s second recorded conservation easement in Richland County.

“I chose to work with Western Reserve Land Conservancy for two reasons,” Derror explained. “First, the flexibility provided by the conservation easement best suited my needs. Second, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Andy McDowell and the Land Conservancy staff on the easement. They made the process very comfortable.”

Western Reserve Land Conservancy logo

Derror’s grandparents purchased 160 acres of farmland, just three miles south of the Village of Lucas, in 1950 with the hopes of creating a self-sufficient farmstead. Derror said he spent a lot of time on the farm growing up, as well as time exploring the woods, streams, and park near his parent’s home just a few miles away in Mansfield.

In 1980, at the request of his grandfather, Derror took ownership of the farm. Farming ended on the property in 1984, and Derror enrolled the tillable ground in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program.

In 1987, Derror expanded the property by purchasing a lot to the north.

Today, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy reported Derror’s property is comprised of diverse habitats including approximately 80 acres of mature forest, nearly 45 acres of marsh wetlands, and 50 acres of tillable old field habitat. More than a half mile of Switzer Creek, a tributary to the Mohican River, as well as a mile of unnamed tributaries can be found on the property, too.

Derror manages five acres of his property as habitat for the Indiana Bat, a federally endangered species. Additionally, he is currently enrolling the old field habitat in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pollinator Partnership Program.

“I see continued development, urban sprawl, and fence-to- fence farming,” Derror said. “After devoting the last 30 years to creating great habitat on this property in Pleasant Valley, I wanted to be sure it was saved.”

Derror turned to the Land Conservancy with the hope of permanently conserving habitat on his cherished property. In December 2017, he donated a conservation easement on it.

A conservation easement is an agreement entered into between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land to preserve its conservation or agricultural resource values in perpetuity, explained Andy McDowell, vice president of western field operations for the Land Conservancy.

“Each easement is unique and tailored to each landowner’s long-term vision for their property; owners can restrict the property’s development at different levels, provided that the property’s conservation values, such as scenic views, agriculture, and wildlife habitats, are preserved,” McDowell said.

Those interested in granting conservation easements on their properties are encouraged to contact McDowell at 440-528- 4150 or amcdowell@wrlandconservancy.org.

About Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Western Reserve Land Conservancy provides the people of our region with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration. The Land Conservancy has preserved natural areas and working farms in 17 counties in northern and eastern Ohio.

Its urban program, Thriving Communities, works statewide to clean and green urban centers devastated by the foreclosure crisis. To date, the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved more than 700 properties totaling 52,000+ acres; created more than 150 public parks and preserves; led the efforts to create 48 county land banks across Ohio; and planted nearly 4,000 robust trees in the City of Cleveland.

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