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30 Stories for 30 Years: Leaving Important Legacies


George and Beth Thornton own property in Elbert County that is protected with a conservation easement held by ORLT. The Thorntons are committed to proactively conserving their land, from using fire as a way to stimulate generation of native grasses to creating edge habitat to protect ground-nesting birds like quail. We are thankful for landowners like the Thorntons, who are committed to ecologically responsible land management. Here, George shares a compelling story about why he and Beth decided to protect their property:


Native wildlife, wildlife habitat and associated flora have fascinated me from childhood. As I have matured and became fortunate enough to have land of my own, I have become very conscious of how thoughtful management can enhance wildlife habitat in a short time and how quickly poor management along with suburban and urban encroachment can cause forests and fields and wetlands to be lost forever.


I strongly feel that the ability to preserve green space in perpetuity is one of if not the most important legacies we can personally leave behind. There will be no more valuable gift to future generations than clean air and clean water and the ability to enjoy our beautiful natural areas.


Beth and I are so happy to have Oconee River Land Trust as the perpetual steward of our personal property. We now know that our descendants and others will enjoy the protected space for generations to come. If you have the opportunity, please make every effort to get to know the staff and board members of ORLT. You will find them to be most engaged in the science and practice of preserving and managing the properties under their care.






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