5 Acres | May 8, 2005
Wanting to protect its lovely trees and ensure that the wildlife populations would remain intact, Gail Dempsey decided to donate a conservation easement on her five-acre property in Sarasota County, Florida, to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
Situated on Donna Bay, this tropical sanctuary is wooded with virgin pines, cedar, palmetto palms, oak, and other hardwood trees. Birds seen here include eagles, ospreys, great horned owls, whippoorwills, and great blue herons. Raccoons, opossums, armadillos, gopher tortoises, gray and flying squirrels, and many kinds of frogs, lizards, and snakes also reside here.
As surrounding lands have been sold to developers, this lush sanctuary provides one of the few remaining natural stretches of bay-front habitat of its size. “The animals have nowhere else to go,” said Ms. Dempsey. “I have always thought of myself as the land’s caretaker and have worried about its future for many years—now more than ever.”
Securing permanent sanctuary status for her land with a conservation easement has allowed her to set those worries to rest. Not only will the land be protected from the deep-reaching development of the area, but the wildlife who live there will find it a safe haven for generations to come. Recreational and commercial hunting and trapping will forever be prohibited on this sanctuary and all sanctuaries protected by the Wildlife Land Trust’s conservation easements.
Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met. These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.
HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept. If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.